aerial

adjective
ae·​ri·​al | \ ˈer-ē-əl How to pronounce aerial (audio) , 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(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
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 How to pronounce aerial (audio) \

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 \ ˈer-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce aerial (audio) , ā-​ˈir-​ē-​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 The Pentagon, which refers to UFOs as unidentified aerial phenomena, has confirmed the authenticity of videos and photographs accompanying those reports. Gregory Mcnamee, CNN, 14 June 2021 The new term is UAPs: unidentified aerial phenomena. Washington Post, 6 June 2021 But if Logsdon’s right, best to expect the unidentified aerial phenomena to remain unidentified. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 4 June 2021 Two officials briefed on the report due to Congress later this month say the U.S. government cannot give a definitive explanation of aerial phenomena spotted by military pilots. Robert Burns And Nomaan Merchant, chicagotribune.com, 4 June 2021 Intelligence officials believe at least some of the aerial phenomena could have been experimental technology from a rival power, most likely Russia or China. New York Times, 3 June 2021 Soon the Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will deliver an unclassified report to Congress on unidentified aerial phenomena, commonly known as UFOs. Karlyn Bowman, Forbes, 3 June 2021 An illuminating report on aerial phenomena would be most welcome. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, 1 June 2021 Former intelligence director John Ratcliffe speaks out on UFOs ahead of the release of an official government report revealing years of strange encounters between military pilots and unidentified aerial phenomena. ABC News, 23 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun More than 650 feet of cable arrived, and inmates helped run it from the school to the prison’s central aerial. Elena Becatoros, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 Feb. 2021 Another team in Tabasco used aerial imaging to survey the oldest, largest Maya structure ever found in Mexico—a ceremonial platform measuring more than 4,500 feet long and 33 to 50 feet tall. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Dec. 2020 Libya Crisis The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to enforce an arms embargo to ensure a cease-fire in Libya, with the EU preparing to deploy aerial, satellite and maritime assets in the Mediterranean Sea to prevent arms shipments. John Follain, Bloomberg.com, 29 Apr. 2020 The departments also shared aerial photos captured Saturday afternoon that showed sparse crowds on the city’s beaches. Los Angeles Times, 1 May 2020 So far, fans have seen clowns Slappy and Monday perform slapstick comedy in their living room, a show of tricks and character sketches featuring Magic Mike and a variety show by Kelli and Julio Ramazini featuring juggling and aerial silks. Shannon Sutlief, Dallas News, 16 Apr. 2020 Since then, the village approved a significant budget increase in the fire department that includes a new aerial platform fire truck, hiring additional firefighters over the next four years and a new fire chief. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Mar. 2020 The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office dispatched aerial and canine searches over the past month, but there were no traces of the missing 27-year-old. Fox News, 27 Feb. 2020 The robots and drones will be used for aerial and underwater inspections, responding to leaks, performing work that takes people out of harm’s way and sending video to operators at onshore control centers. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, 11 Feb. 2020

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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Learn More About aerial

Time Traveler for aerial

Time Traveler

The first known use of aerial was circa 1545

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Statistics for aerial

Last Updated

23 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aerial.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aerial. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce aerial (audio) , 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 How to pronounce aerial (audio) \

Kids Definition of aerial (Entry 2 of 2)

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