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 : 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 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 aerially (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

Expo highlights include tours of the new center, virtual reality demonstrations, robots, airplane rides, unmanned aerial vehicles, flight simulators and foundry demonstrations. Megan Becka, cleveland.com, "Kent State University to hold Aeronautics and Engineering expo Sept. 7," 4 Sep. 2019 The location is hardly secret, since the CST’s logo, two interlocking circles with diamonds, can be seen in aerial photos, carved into the high desert scrub, ostensibly to help guide Hubbard’s spirit back to its new body—whenever that happens. Matt Farwell, The New Republic, "Jeffrey Epstein Chose New Mexico for a Reason," 15 Aug. 2019 Khanzadi’s comments highlight the central role that unmanned aerial vehicles are playing in the dispute over the Persian Gulf. Adam Taylor, BostonGlobe.com, "All US ships in Gulf recorded via drones, Iran navy chief claims," 23 July 2019 That includes everything from vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, flying taxis, military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and delivery drones. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "UPS seeks government approval for ‘advanced’ drone delivery service," 23 July 2019 Tehran said the unmanned aerial vehicle was inside Iranian airspace when it was downed. Max Colchester, WSJ, "U.K. Navy Thwarts Iranian Attempt to Block BP Tanker," 11 July 2019 RoboBee X-Wing is about the same size as those untethered fliers, but weighs a hundredth of an ounce, which earns it the distinction of lightest aerial vehicle to manage sustained untethered flight. Matt Simon, WIRED, "What Could Possibly Be Cooler Than RoboBee? RoboBee X-Wing," 26 June 2019 Below, find an aerial photo of the camp taken circa 1962, as well as a photo of German prisoners working as part of a neighborhood beautification detail in a New Orleans. Mike Scott, nola.com, "‘Voodoo City,’ Episode 10: New Orleans’ Nazi problem," 24 June 2019 The drone will also host an expendable unmanned aerial vehicle, which can be launched mid-flight and used for electronic warfare and as an early warning system. David Brennan, Newsweek, "U.S. Mega Drone Will Be As Deadly As The F-35 Fighter and Launch From Warships," 14 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The small aerial-aquatic glider, which can fit in the palm of your hands, uses a chemical reaction to propel itself out of the water. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "This Glider Is Powered by a Chemical Reaction—Not an Engine," 11 Sep. 2019 The event features children's activities, aerials and pet adoptions. Alison Stanton, azcentral, "The best fall festivals around Phoenix in 2019: Oktoberfest, Day of the Dead, art and more," 12 Sep. 2019 In comparison, Barnes manages four shots and double the aerial wins – showcasing the contrast in their performances. SI.com, "Burnley Premier League Month in Review: August - Best Player, Worst Performance & Overall Rating," 8 Sep. 2019 Canada has pledged to send $15 million and water bombers -- a type of aerial firefighting craft -- to help in areas affected by fire. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for August 27: Opioids, G7, China spy claim, Indonesia, VMAs," 27 Aug. 2019 The Barons also just missed on two aerials to open receivers behind the last defender. Barry Faulkner, Daily Pilot, "Fountain Valley football loses at Elsinore in Chris Anderson’s head-coaching debut," 23 Aug. 2019 Tape has been using aerial and satellite photographs for years to track how plants and wildlife are changing in Alaska—and how that might affect permafrost. Katie Orlinsky, National Geographic, "Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all.," 16 Aug. 2019 The feathers belonged to two bald eagles whose talons had become stuck together in a fight-to-the-death aerial battle over territory. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "Dramatic eagle rescue in Marine on St. Croix," 8 July 2019 Nearby villages were evacuated, the Spanish Defense Ministry deployed aerial and land reinforcements, and firefighters had been sent from neighboring regions. Raphael Minder, New York Times, "At Nearly 115 Degrees, France Experiences Its Hottest Day on Record," 28 June 2019

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

13 Oct 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 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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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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