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 \ -​ə-​lē How to pronounce aerially (audio) \ 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

Search and rescue units performed shoreline and aerial searches to help find the missing teen, while dive teams and side scan sonar were used for underwater searches. Serena O'sullivan, azcentral, "Body of teen who died after jumping into Colorado River has been recovered, identified," 6 July 2019 Nearby villages were evacuated, and the Spanish defense ministry deployed aerial and land reinforcements. Megan Specia, BostonGlobe.com, "At nearly 115 degrees, France experiences its hottest day on record," 28 June 2019 In its work to monitor the species in Wisconsin, DNR employees conduct aerial and ground surveillance each year. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Wisconsin was home to at least 914 wolves last winter. How does that compare, and what's the significance?," 23 May 2019 Lots of the meandering is aerial, lyrical and beautiful. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Review: More Smoke Than Fire," 21 Feb. 2019 During a family beach day on June 23, Dan Watson brought his drone along, hoping to get an aerial shot of his three children playing in the water. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Shark Lurks Near Children Swimming at Florida Beach in Chilling Drone Images Captured by Their Dad," 2 July 2019 New Jersey environmental officials say people shouldn't swim in New Jersey's largest lake or even touch the water because aerial surveillance confirms the presence of an extensive harmful algae bloom. CBS News, "New Jersey's largest lake giving people rashes due to harmful algae bloom, officials warn," 28 June 2019 Never fear: there are a great many aerial shots of the majestic manor home to satisfy one's castle fantasy needs. Vogue, "The Downton Abbey Movie Trailer Is Here, and It's Royally Dramatic," 21 May 2019 The operation will now mainly focus on aerial surveillance and training... Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Europe Pulls Ships From Operation Against People Smugglers," 27 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The joint venture posted drone footage on its Twitter account that gives viewers a 30-second aerial tour of the construction site in rural Limestone County. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al.com, "Take a drone flight over Mazda Toyota auto plant," 26 June 2019 The plan includes two new aerial lifts for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders within the existing footprint of the resort, and five new runs. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Arizona Snowbowl plans $60M expansion to ease congestion, upgrade facilities at Flagstaff resort," 12 June 2019 An All-Adventure Pass gives you access to every tour and attraction in the park for about $150; otherwise prices vary by adventure package and start as low as $40 (early bird aerial adventure) and $25 for kids at Adventure Village. Gerry Frank, oregonlive.com, "3 ideas for spending time with Dad on Father’s Day: Gerry Frank’s picks," 9 June 2019 Their mission was to raise a barrier of balloons, mini-blimps, really, into the sky to protect the ships, troops, and supplies from the constant aerial attacks by German aircraft. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "The Eyes of the World Are Upon Some Of Them: RaceAhead," 6 June 2019 Faceted like origami, aerials pointed in various directions, much of it was wrapped in gold foil to deal with thermal issues, obscuring its hard-to-follow lines yet further. Oliver Morton, WIRED, "The Beauty and Madness of Sending a Man to the Moon," 4 June 2019 Experience full-throttle aerial racing on a unique course inside the iconic IMS oval designed to push the best pilots in the world to their limits. Indianapolis Star, "Win VIP Sky Lounge Air Race Tickets," 30 Sep. 2017

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

21 Jul 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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