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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The war in Yemen has proven to be an outsize problem for the Trump administration, which has provided Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. with advanced weapons, intelligence, military training and aerial refueling. Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ, "Mattis, U.S. Commander Sought to Temper Saudi-Led War in Yemen," 31 Dec. 2018 More recent aerial views of this place of once miraculous beauty show that it is now reduced to little more than pockmarks amongst the rubble, although some survivals suggest that there is hope for future restoration. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Spends a Week in Qatar and Is Dazzled by Doha," 2 Apr. 2019 In aerial photographs, the outlines of two concentric rings and a clear entrance stand out dark against the lighter background of surrounding crops. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Climate change brings Britain and Ireland’s hidden past to the surface," 1 Aug. 2018 Now The Joshua Tree House, $225 per night for 6 people Ride the Aerial Tramway Experience Coachella Valley's scenic vistas, sans incline, by taking the state park's aerial tramway to the summit. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "What to Do on Your Next Trip to Palm Springs," 5 Mar. 2019 The First Street Foundation, a group that studies sea level rise, looked at historical records, tide and river gauges, and aerial imaging to conduct their analysis. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Hurricane Florence caused up to $22 billion in damages. Climate change made the storm worse.," 3 Oct. 2018 That said, there are more than two hundred Ospreys in service worldwide with the Air Force and Marines, and aerial refueling missions almost certainly take place every day--and at night. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch The Harrowing Way A Osprey Refuels in Midair," 13 Mar. 2019 The clammy gray walls of the bunker are still hung with military maps and aerial photos of Soviet missile silos faded from decades of salt air. Tony Perrottet, WSJ, "A Weirdly Fascinating Cold-War Tour of Havana," 20 Nov. 2018 Civil liberties groups have argued such programs invade the right to privacy, and some put the technology the same category as cellphone tracking and aerial surveillance. Yvonne Wenger, baltimoresun.com, "Police used facial recognition technology to help identify uncooperative suspect in Capital Gazette shooting," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Fox, along with host broadcaster HBS, also have at their disposal two behind-the-goal cranes, a helicopter aerial for each match, several wireless cameras, and two ultra-mini high-frame-rate pole-cams behind each goal. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, "How to watch the World Cup, and what you’ll see," 13 June 2018 As Jongbloed blocked his effort, the ball hit the aerial Kempes not once but twice; first on the knee and then on the foot, and then again off the head of Jongbloed. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 10 Weeks to Go - When Hosts Argentina Edged the Netherlands In a Classic Final," 14 Apr. 2018 Cassidy also offers after-school enrichment classes such as cooking, martial arts, circus arts (on their own aerial silks), and more. Nadine Jolie Courtney, Town & Country, "These Preschools Are the Ivy League of Early Education," 11 Oct. 2016 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about aerial

Statistics for aerial

Last Updated

12 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aerial

The first known use of aerial was circa 1545

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up aerial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!