aerial

1 of 2

adjective

ae·​ri·​al ˈer-ē-əl How to pronounce aerial (audio)
ā-ˈir-ē-əl
1
a
: of, relating to, or occurring in the air or atmosphere
the aerial acrobatics of circus performers
b
: existing or growing in the air rather than in the ground or in water
aerial plants
c(1)
: high in the air
aerial spires
(2)
: capable of being raised high in the air
The hydraulic aerial platform can accommodate up to five firefighters and even a wheelchair.Allan Stein
see also aerial ladder
d
: operating or operated overhead on elevated cables or rails
an aerial tram
2
: suggestive of air: such as
a
: lacking substance
aerial distinctions
b
: fanciful, ethereal
… visions of aerial joy …P. B. Shelley
3
a
: of or relating to aircraft
aerial navigation
aerial combat
b
: designed for use in, taken from, or operating from or against aircraft
aerial photographs/photography
c
: effected by means of aircraft
aerial transportation
a city subjected to aerial bombardment
aerial views
aerial spraying
4
American football : of, relating to, or gained by the forward pass
aerial touchdowns
a team known for its aerial attack
aerially
ˈer-ē-ə-lē How to pronounce aerial (audio)
ā-ˈir-ē-ə-lē
adverb

aerial

2 of 2

noun

aer·​i·​al ˈer-ē-əl How to pronounce aerial (audio)
1
2
American football : forward pass
3
: an acrobatic maneuver performed (as by skiers and gymnasts) in the air
also, aerials plural : a ski event featuring such maneuvers

Did you know?

Shakespeare himself may have coined this word, in Othello, and later he gave the name Ariel to the famous air-spirit character in The Tempest. An aerialist is an acrobat who performs high above the audience. In painting, aerial perspective is the way an artist creates the illusion that a mountain or city is far away (something that early painters only slowly learned how to do), usually by making it slightly misty and bluish gray—as if seen through miles of air. An aerial work platform, or "cherry picker", supports a worker at a high elevation on the end of a crane. And aerial itself can be used as a noun, meaning a TV antenna, a forward pass in football, or a high-flying stunt performed by a skateboarder or snowboarder.

Examples of aerial in a Sentence

Adjective the spectacular aerial acrobatics of the circus performers Noun She tried a new aerial in her last competition.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
There will be more than 2,000 private security agents and 45,000 security forces, as well as state services who will ensure waterway and aerial security. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 17 Apr. 2024 China responded by firing missiles over Taiwan and staging a surge in military maneuvers, including what appeared to be a rehearsal of a naval and aerial blockade of the island. Christopher Bodeen, Quartz, 17 Apr. 2024 In an editorial for The Wall Street Journal, a former commander of U.S. Central Command argued that Iran’s aerial assault was a display of weakness. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, 16 Apr. 2024 Come summer, consider the sprawling zip lines and aerial ropes course at the Frankenmuth Aerial Park. Katy Spratte Joyce, Travel + Leisure, 16 Apr. 2024 The Institute for the Study of War, in a special report on the aerial campaign, said commanders faced tough choices in how to deploy air defenses. Marc Santora, New York Times, 16 Apr. 2024 But Iran over the weekend launched an aerial attack on Israel in retaliation for a deadly airstrike on its consulate in Syria, amplifying calls for Congress to respond quickly. TIME, 16 Apr. 2024 Proponents imagine a system of cheap, sustainable aerial transit—ribbons of humming vehicles interlaced overhead. Gideon Lewis-Kraus, The New Yorker, 15 Apr. 2024 According to Israeli officials, aerial weapons used in the attack included: 170 Shahed-136 drones 120 ballistic missiles 30 cruise missiles Ballistic missiles are powered by one or more rockets that lift the missile into the atmosphere on an arching trajectory. George Petras, USA TODAY, 15 Apr. 2024
Noun
The more intimate spaces such as the steam room and women’s powder room were built on stage, though there was a second unit that went out to Palm Beach to shoot aerials and wide establishers. Katie Bowman, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Mar. 2024 Its dish-like microwave aerials were removed more than 10 years ago as they were no longer needed. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 Sora appears to allow for the switching of shots, including close-ups, tracking and aerials, as well as the changing of shot compositions. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Feb. 2024 McClung clinched perfect scores on three of his four dunks and impressed the judges and the crowd with his 360 and 540 aerials. Dj Siddiqi, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Six units worked for hours to extinguish the flames, with firefighters manning aerials to get at the blaze from above. The Courier-Journal, 21 July 2023 But my second World Championship title in 2018 was for individual overall: two speed events, and single-rope freestyle, which is tricks: backflips, front flips, aerials. Lauren Daley, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Apr. 2023 Kornieck, 24, leads the NWSL in aerials won with 15. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Apr. 2023 This information is collected by sophisticated aerials on the International Space Station and relayed back to Earth. WIRED, 30 Mar. 2023

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Latin āerius (borrowed from Greek āérios, derivative of āer-, aḗr air entry 1) + -al entry 1

Noun

derivative of aerial entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

circa 1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1902, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aerial was circa 1545

Dictionary Entries Near aerial

Cite this Entry

“Aerial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aerial. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

aerial

1 of 2 adjective
ae·​ri·​al ˈar-ē-əl How to pronounce aerial (audio)
ˈer-
1
a
: of, relating to, or occurring in the air or atmosphere
an aerial display on a trapeze
b
: living or growing in the air rather than on the ground or in water
c
: running on cables or rails that are raised above the ground
an aerial railway
2
a
: of or relating to aircraft
aerial navigation
b
: designed for use in, taken from, or operating from aircraft
aerial photograph
aerially
-ē-ə-lē
adverb

aerial

2 of 2 noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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