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adjective (1)

ae·​o·​lian ē-ˈō-lē-ən How to pronounce aeolian (audio)
often capitalized : of or relating to Aeolus
: giving forth or marked by a moaning or sighing sound or musical tone produced by or as if by the wind


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adjective (2)


less common spelling of eolian

: borne, deposited, produced, or eroded by the wind


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adjective (3)

Ae·​o·​lian ē-ˈō-lē-ən How to pronounce Aeolian (audio) ā- How to pronounce Aeolian (audio)
: of or relating to Aeolis or its inhabitants


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: a member of a group of Greek peoples of Thessaly and Boeotia that colonized Lesbos and the adjacent coast of Asia Minor
: aeolic

Examples of aeolian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The cooling effect of fragrant terpene aerosols from coniferous boreal forests was decreasing, and aeolian accumulations of dust on the Loess Plateau indicated that human existence did not coincide with a high-carbon atmosphere until 1965. Rafil Kroll-Zaidi, Harper's magazine, 25 Nov. 2019
Oenophiles in the Aeolian Islands should go wine tasting at a local vineyard and sample local dessert wine. Jamie Ditaranto, Travel + Leisure, 4 Sep. 2023 Vesuvius and company are part of the Campania Magmatic Province while Etna belongs to the Sicily Magmatic Province and Stromboli to yet another, the Aeolian Arc Magmatic Province. Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 31 July 2023 The Italian Aeolian Islands are a recent and delightful discovery. Isabella Sullivan, Robb Report, 27 July 2023 Off the shore of eastern Sicily, however, a section of the African plate plunges beneath the Eurasian plate, which drives the volcanic eruptions of the Aeolian Islands. Maya Wei-Haas, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aeolian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Adjective (1)

Aeolus, god of the winds (borrowed from Latin, borrowed from Greek Aíolos) + -ian entry 2

Adjective (3)

Aeolis, Aeolia, ancient territory in Asia Minor (borrowed from Latin, borrowed from Greek Aiolís) + -an entry 2


derivative of aeolian entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective (1)

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (2)

1853, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (3)

1567, in the meaning defined above


1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aeolian was in 1546

Dictionary Entries Near aeolian

Cite this Entry

“Aeolian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


variant of eolian

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