aerial

adjective
ae·​ri·​al | \ ˈer-ē-əl, ā-ˈir-ē-əl\

Definition of aerial 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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 : high in the air aerial spires
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
3a : 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

aerial

noun
aer·​i·​al | \ ˈer-ē-əl \

Definition of aerial (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from aerial

Adjective

aerially \ -​ə-​lē \ adverb

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

During wartime enemy aircraft will be hunting the PLARF's mobile missile systems, and S-400s would provide direct protection to these high value assets from aerial attack. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch China's Military Rocket Force Show Off Its Might," 28 Dec. 2016 The Marines statement said it has not been confirmed whether the two planes were involved in aerial refueling when the collision occurred. Mari Yamaguchi, The Seattle Times, "5 missing Marines declared dead in warplanes crash off Japan," 11 Dec. 2018 The two island chains are at the far edge of Japanese territory where they are covered by just one—possibly an additional two with aerial refueling—air bases. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Japan Clears Way for First Aircraft Carriers in 70 Years," 28 Nov. 2018 This longstanding music festival features a lineup of more than 30 diverse artists on four stages, plus a giant Ferris wheel offering aerial views of the action. Allison Weiss Entrekin, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Atlanta in September 2018," 5 Sep. 2018 The most impressive post of all, however, was the aerial view of Williams in their hotel room that appeared to be taken by a drone. Emily Wang, Glamour, "Serena Williams Was in the Mood For Italian, So Her Husband Flew Her To Italy," 23 July 2018 Adrian Rankine Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. has continued to provide aerial refueling for coalition aircraft and intelligence assistance. Washington Post, "Fierce fighting intensifies outside Yemen’s Hodeida airport," 15 June 2018 The couple, who's extremely secretive about their private life, didn't disclose their destination, but Kloss did tease the location with a stunning aerial shot from the plane. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Karlie Kloss Shares Behind-the-Scenes Photos from Her Wedding and Honeymoon," 22 Oct. 2018 Lava erupting from Hawaii's powerful Kilauea volcano has now destroyed at least 26 homes, more than double the previous figure, officials announced Sunday, citing grim findings from an aerial survey by the fire department. Mike Arroyo, Fox News, "Hawaii's volcanic eruption has destroyed at least 26 homes, officials say," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Warring parties have deliberately decreased access to food, most notably Saudi Arabia, which has established aerial and naval blockades against a country that imports 90 percent of its food. Abigail Higgins, Vox, "The World Bank and tech companies want to use AI to predict famine," 29 Sep. 2018 Over the last few months, the department has quietly spent about $70,000 to purchase 17 drones, known formally as unmanned aerial systems. Allie Morris, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas Department of Public Safety launches new drone program," 15 Feb. 2018 In the area of precision agriculture, there’s a great deal of work being done that would allow farmers to fly over their fields to determine which plants are healthy and which aren’t, which waters are needed to do aerial spraying. Angela Chen, The Verge, "A retired Navy captain explains how drones will shape the future of war," 5 Dec. 2018 Eye in the Tesla sky: What aerial photos say about Elon Musk’s sales. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump says anonymous NY Times op-ed backfired; Kavanaugh hearings could wrap up Friday," 7 Sep. 2018 And last year the state had a record high of at least 925 animals, according to the annual winter tracking survey and aerial count performed by DNR staff and volunteers. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wolf presentation, panel slated for Sports Show," 10 Feb. 2018 The family art event will include a performance by Le PeTiT Cirque — the only all-kid aerial and circus arts show — an art exhibit treasure hunt, art projects and balloon art and printmaking. Ben Brazil, latimes.com, "Festival of Arts returns to Laguna Beach on Thursday," 3 July 2018 Recently, a team of archaeologists from Aarhus University and Münster University combined historical aerial images with modern, laser-scanning surveys to map those changes and get a big-picture view of the ancient city. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Decades of aerial photos reveal how an ancient desert city got its water," 30 May 2018 Two aerial tankers dumped 50,000 gallons of a fire-retardant solution on the flames as about 250 U.S. Forest Service and county firemen established a line around the blaze. ... Scott Harrison, latimes.com, "From the Archives: Helicopters fight a 1966 brush fire," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aerial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aerial

Adjective

circa 1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1902, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aerial

Adjective

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

Noun

derivative of aerial entry 1

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Statistics for aerial

Last Updated

6 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aerial

The first known use of aerial was circa 1545

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More Definitions for aerial

aerial

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of aerial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: performed in the air

: performed using an airplane : taken or seen from an airplane

aerial

noun

English Language Learners Definition of aerial (Entry 2 of 2)

: a difficult movement of the body performed by an athlete (such as a skier) in the air

aerial

adjective
ae·​ri·​al | \ ˈer-ē-əl, ā-ˈir-ē-əl\

Kids Definition of aerial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : performed or occurring in the air We were amazed by the aerial stunts of the circus performers.
2 : of aircraft aerial navigation
3 : taken from, used in, or performed using an airplane aerial camera aerial warfare

aerial

noun
aer·​i·​al | \ ˈer-ē-əl \

Kids Definition of aerial (Entry 2 of 2)

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More from Merriam-Webster on aerial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aerial

Spanish Central: Translation of aerial

Nglish: Translation of aerial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of aerial for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about aerial

Comments on aerial

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