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

Thanks to the lack of rain, for archaeologists this has been one of the most fruitful summers in the past couple of decades, says Toby Driver, an aerial investigator in Wales. The Economist, "Dry weather is helping archaeologists discover ancient sites," 12 July 2018 Bell Helicopter is getting into the drone delivery business Advertisement Bell Helicopter is ready to jump head-first into unmanned aerial vehicles. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "Bell just got a big military aircraft contract. Will Fort Worth get any new jobs?," 12 July 2018 His ahead-of-his-time aerial attack helped turn Gibson into a college star, and eventual College Football Hall of Famer. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Who was Darryl Rogers? An offensive innovator with an acerbic wit," 12 July 2018 Then inspectors turned to aerial photos to find which ones had collapsed roofs: 350. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Collapse: The rise and deadly fall of a Baltimore rowhouse," 12 July 2018 The spa gym's classes include aerial yoga and floating meditation and the athletic club gym has a movement studio offering more than 200 fitness classes on demand. 2. Dawn Gilbertson, azcentral, "Phoenician resort makeover: The 6 coolest new features," 11 July 2018 The year-long effort involved integrating data from such disparate sources as aerial imagery, road maps, and zoning charts. Bill Gourgey, WIRED, "How Artificial Intelligence Could Prevent Natural Disasters," 10 July 2018 There has long been a need for an aerial truck at station No. Sheila Vilvens, Cincinnati.com, "Fire station renovations could mean quicker service for Union Township," 9 July 2018 Last year, five of those deaths were caused by reloadable aerial devices, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which publishes an annual report on fireworks injuries. Naseem S. Miller, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Firework eye injury? Here's what to do," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Junior Hannah Blair kicked things off with a season-high score of 9.875 in the aerial tumbling pass. Tyson Alger, OregonLive.com, "Royce Freeman taken by Denver Broncos with 71st pick in NFL Draft," 27 Apr. 2018 Volcano opens with an arrestingly lovely sequence, an extended aerial shot of droplets splashing in slow motion onto a dark body of water before a huge, mysterious barge swims into view. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 Within ten years Greenpeace expects to have a fleet of aerial, surface and even underwater drones, with the latter seeking, among other things, signs of unlawful seabed mining, says John Murphy, the outfit’s head of drones. The Economist, "Avast, me hearties," 5 July 2018 Ashley Caldwell begins her third attempt at winning gold in women's aerials when qualifiers start Thursday (Feb. 15). Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Skier Ashley Caldwell Plans to Soar During Winter Olympic Aerials With Bruno Mars, Imagine Dragons & Milky Chance on Her Playlist," 15 Feb. 2018 The surface and aerial shows were preceded by a rocket-belt demonstration, a baseball game and high-wire and trapeze acts. Scott Harrison, latimes.com, "From the Archives: Sparklers and fireworks at the Coliseum," 4 July 2018 According to Gilton, a typical aerial shell is made of three basic parts, all tightly wrapped inside cardboard. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "O say can you see? The science behind the booms and blooms of Independence Day fireworks," 3 July 2018 And their expansion, and the statistical record of aerial activities within those few four years of fighting, is simply staggering. Paul Kennedy, WSJ, "The RAF at 100: Masters of the Skies," 29 June 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

18 Aug 2018

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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Comments on aerial

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