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From stratosphere +‎ -ic (suffix meaning ‘of or pertaining to’ forming adjectives from nouns).[1]



stratospheric (comparative more stratospheric, superlative most stratospheric)

  1. (meteorology) Of, relating to, or occurring in the stratosphere (the region of the uppermost atmosphere).
    Synonym: stratospherical
    Antonym: nonstratospheric
    • 1941 December, Don M. Paul, “Modern Men of Mars!”, in Will Lane, editor, Minicam Photography, volume 5, number 4, Cincinnati, Oh.: Automobile Digest Publishing Corp., OCLC 5639904, page 16, column 1:
      Stratospheric fighting brings a new dimension to warfare, taking it into the realm of the fantastic—like an Orson Wells[sic – meaning Orson Welles] drama in which cities are bombed from the stratosphere beyond reach of anti-aircraft fire and barrage balloon and in relative safety from enemy pursuit ships.
    • 1945 August, “New Products and Processes”, in Orson D[esaix] Munn, editor, Scientific American, volume 173, number 2, New York, N.Y.: Munn & Co., [], ISSN 0036-8733, OCLC 910605343, page 114, column 3:
      This new pen operates on the principle of capillary attraction. It writes with greater ease than the smoothest lead pencil; writes on cloth or paper submerged in water or in an airplane at the ceiling of stratospheric air travel without leaking; writes on glossy paper, soft paper, blotting paper, or cloth without spreading.
    • 1965 March 25, Richard Willstätter, “Professorship at Zurich”, in Lilli S[chwenk] Hornig, transl., From My Life: The Memoirs of Richard Willstätter [], New York, N.Y.; Amsterdam: W. A. Cummings, OCLC 1123253637, page 201:
      During the World War he [Jean Piccard] became professor of organic chemistry at Chicago, but later he changed his field. The famous stratospheric flights of his brother Auguste [Piccard]—they are very similar twins and their voices on the radio indistinguishable—caused him to turn to aeronautics and to take on a professorship in aeronautical engineering at the University of Minnesota.
    • 1990 December, “Technological Options for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions”, in Daniel A. Lashof and Dennis A. Tirpak, editors, Policy Options for Stabilizing Global Climate: Report to Congress (21P-2003.1), Washington, D.C.: Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation, United States Environmental Protection Agency, OCLC 1078000104, page 34, column 2:
      Halocarbons (which include CFCs [chlorofluorocarbons] and halons) are potent stratospheric ozone depleters as well as greenhouse gases. Concern over their role as a threat to the ozone layer led in September 1987 to "The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer" (or the Montreal Protocol).
    • 2009, Patrick G. J. Irwin, “Vertical Structure of Temperature, Composition, and Clouds”, in Philippe Blondel and John Mason, editors, Giant Planets of Our Solar System: Atmospheres, Composition, and Structure (Springer-Praxis Books in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences), 2nd edition, Berlin; Heidelberg: Springer; Chichester, West Sussex: Praxis Publishing, →ISBN, section 4.1.4 (Temperature/Pressure Profiles of the Outer Planets), page 83:
      The stratospheric temperatures in Saturn's atmosphere are generally lower than those found in Jupiter's, which might be expected from Saturn's increased distance from the Sun. However, the stratospheric temperatures of Uranus and Neptune are noticeably and puzzlingly different.
    • 2013, David Keith, “Technology and Design”, in A Case for Climate Engineering (A Boston Review Book), Cambridge, Mass.; London: The MIT Press, →ISBN, pages 109–110:
      Because one can alter the entire climate with as little as 10,000 tons of super-efficient stratospheric scatters, an amount that could be lifted in a month by a single heavy lift stratospheric aircraft, there is extraordinary scope to develop new tools to allow more precise alteration of radiative forcing.
  2. (figuratively, colloquial) Unusually or unreasonably high; astronomical.
    The hotel charged stratospheric prices for a simple cooked breakfast.
    • 1963, Ralph M[atthew] McInerny, “Aristotle”, in A History of Western Philosophy: From the Beginnings of Philosophy to Plotinus, Notre Dame, Ind.; London: University of Notre Dame Press, section C (Aristotle’s Logic), page 252:
      Parmenides, we recall, denied the possibility of change because it seemed to involve a passage from non-being to being, from nothing to something. Discussed on this stratospheric level, his argument appears to be irrefutable.
    • 2017 October 24, Rebecca Kent, “Who Needs the Games? London’s Ambitious Theatre Shows Take Centre Stage”, in TNT Magazine[1], London: Pixate, OCLC 877457227, archived from the original on 11 August 2020:
      [...] [Simon] Stephens is one of Britain's most highly regarded playwrights, and the director, Marianne Elliott, is a key player in the stratospheric success of War Horse at the National Theatre.
    • 2019 June 1, Oliver Wainwright, “Super-tall, super-skinny, super-expensive: the ‘pencil towers’ of New York’s super-rich”, in Katharine Viner, editor, The Guardian[2], London: Guardian News & Media, ISSN 0261-3077, OCLC 229952407, archived from the original on 5 October 2020:
      The continued volatility of financial markets has spurred buyers to seek safe havens in super-prime real estate, from London to New York and Hong Kong, begetting stratospheric prices and minting a whole new category that defies the usual rules of the marketplace: the "trophy property".
    • 2020 October 22, Stuart Marsh, “Almost $3 Billion Lost in Six Months: ‘Gamechanger’ Mobile Platform Quibi Shuts Six Months after Launch”, in 9News[3], Willoughby, N.S.W., archived from the original on 29 October 2020:
      Inspired by the stratospheric rise in video-on-demand platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+, Quibi was an attempt to distil human's social media behaviour down into one platform.
    • 2022 November 23, Hadley Freeman, “Like a cinema virgin: how Madonna went stratospheric making Desperately Seeking Susan”, in The Guardian[4]:
      Like a cinema virgin: how Madonna went stratospheric making Desperately Seeking Susan [title]

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  1. ^ stratospheric, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2016; “stratospheric, adj.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

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