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 Angler drone will travel closer to the seafloor than aerial drones travel to the ground, making navigation much more hazardous. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "DARPA Wants an Autonomous Drone That Can Do Dirty Work on the Ocean Floor," 1 Feb. 2019 In mid-October, Fortnite got its third vehicle in the form of the Quadcrasher, a build-busting quad bike with some surprising aerial boost abilities. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "The year in Fortnite," 18 Dec. 2018 Hop on a world tour of photographer Gray Malin’s aerial images of sunbathers, with umbrellas dotting the sand like technicolor punctuation. Curbed Staff, Curbed, "18 enticing new books on design, cities, and more," 14 Dec. 2018 Herds have lost hundreds of thousands of individuals, as measured by aerial photography of herds and counts in areas where caribou give birth. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The Arctic has lost 2.6 million reindeer over the past 20 years," 11 Dec. 2018 Historic England, another public body, has dispatched aerial reconnaissance teams from bases in York and Swindon to scour the country for Roman villas and prehistoric forts. The Economist, "Dry weather is helping archaeologists discover ancient sites," 12 July 2018 Ball’s discipline, called aerial circus and popularized by Cirque du Soleil, entails doing tricks on fabric, rope, trapeze, hoop, or other apparatuses suspended in the air. Susie Armitage, SELF, "This Is How an Aerial Performer Restarted Her Career After Having Both Feet Amputated," 23 Jan. 2019 Corporation Counsel Margaret Daun said her office also would check how other municipalities regulate unmanned aerial vehicles. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Drone operators raise concerns about Milwaukee County's proposed ban of devices in parks and parkways," 22 June 2018 For a picturesque view, head towards Sterling Vineyards to take the only aerial tram in Napa Valley to the entrance of its Mediterranean-style winery. Olivia Fleming, Harper's BAZAAR, "Where to Eat and Drink in Napa Valley," 9 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2016, incredible aerial images were released showing an uncontacted tribe that experts warn could be in danger of being wiped out. James Rogers, Fox News, "Incredible drone footage shows isolated Amazon tribe," 24 Aug. 2018 This type of aerial-advertising would have to be approved by all kinds of regulatory agencies, and gaining that type of approval would ultimately take a long time. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A Russian Startup Wants to Project Giant Billboards in Space," 18 Jan. 2019 The eagle landed on one of the aerials after fire officials set it up, and stayed put for less than a minute. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Eagle perches on Minnesota 9/11 flag display: See the photo," 11 Sep. 2018 When the whirlwind of the Winter Olympics spins to a close this weekend, the host city, Pyeongchang, South Korea, will settle down to a life beyond aerial flips, halfpipe pretzels and metronomic North Korean cheerleaders. Brook Larmer, New York Times, "South Korea’s Most Dangerous Enemy: Demographics," 20 Feb. 2018 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

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

17 Feb 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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