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

The Rams capitalized with a precise timing-and-rhythm aerial attack and clever backfield passing game that often leveraged running back Todd Gurley off the wide receivers’ routes. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "Sean McVay vs. Kyle Shanahan: The NFL’s Best New Coaching Rivalry," 18 June 2018 Even more worrisome for Griffin, the Ravens’ aerial attack, always in need of an upgrade, could encourage some of his worst tendencies under center. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "As Robert Griffin III evolves at QB, Ravens will have to figure out what still works for him," 12 Apr. 2018 What won’t change While Carolina’s aerial attack was inconsistent, Newton thrived as a runner. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, "Panthers OC Norv Turner on plan for Cam Newton: More help, better technique, scheme," 23 Jan. 2018 Karanikolov has been a photographer for around ten years and specializes mostly in travel and aerial shots. Yasmin Harisha, Fox News, "Photographer captures whale shark swimming beneath sleepy fisherman," 20 June 2018 Troops are mostly assisting by monitoring surveillance feeds -- which by law may not be pointed at Mexican territory when Guard troops are watching -- conducting aerial surveillance flights, and maintaining and building infrastructure. Tal Kopan, CNN, "Border Patrol union chief slams National Guard deployment as 'colossal waste'," 25 May 2018 More fodder came from RS Metrics, which analyzes satellite and aerial imagery and sells the data to the likes of institutional investors and hedge funds. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Tesla built a giant tent to expand production of the Model 3," 22 June 2018 Last year, in the most recent assessment of the city’s canopy, which used more sophisticated, high-resolution aerial imagery and lasers, analysts from the University of Vermont determined that just 27 percent of Boston’s land had trees. David Abel, BostonGlobe.com, "City fails in promise to plant 100,000 trees," 9 June 2018 The judge did not agree to call Navy Adm. Kurt Tidd, the commander who supposedly rebuffed Rishikof's request for fresh aerial imagery of the war court compound. Carol Rosenberg, miamiherald, "Judge orders top Pentagon lawyer to testify about alleged meddling in the 9/11 case | Miami Herald," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

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

10 Nov 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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