variants or less commonly aery
: the nest of a bird on a cliff or a mountaintop
obsolete : a brood of birds of prey
: an elevated often secluded dwelling, structure, or position

Did you know?

English poet John Milton put a variant of aerie to good use in Paradise Lost (1667), writing, "… there the eagle and the stork / On cliffs and cedar tops their eyries build." But Milton wasn't the first to use the term, which comes to us via Medieval Latin and Old French and probably traces to an earlier Latin word, ager, meaning "field." English speakers had been employing aerie as a word for a bird's nest for more than a century when he penned those words. Eventually, aerie was applied to human dwellings as well as birds' nests. At first, this sense referred to dwellings nestled high up in mountains or hills. These days, you're also likely to hear high-rise city apartments or offices referred to as "aeries."

Examples of aerie in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Altogether, the 2,285-square-foot aerie comes with two bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a 250-square-foot private terrace overlooking the Hudson River and lower Manhattan. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 6 Dec. 2023 These aeries are all about privacy, comfort, luxury, and, yes, those jaw-dropping views. Everett Potter, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 The four-bedroom aerie is perched on a high floor of an Upper East Side residential tower at 180 East 88th Street. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 21 Nov. 2023 The almost 7,300-square-foot aerie encompasses the entire 11th and 12th floors of the residential tower and has a private rooftop with 270-degree views overlooking the endless horizon and Miami’s ever-evolving skyline. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 9 Nov. 2023 Custom designed by award-winning firm Steven Harris Architects, the 5,500-square-foot aerie comprises five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and sports a private, 1,400-square-foot wraparound balcony. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 18 Oct. 2023 Bad Bunny is moving to Chelsea: The New York Post reported earlier this week that the singer had signed a lease on a $150,000-a-month penthouse on West 27th Street, a 4,500-square-foot aerie with a private outdoor lap pool. Kim Velsey, Curbed, 12 Oct. 2023 Shetty did not grow up in poverty, but his terraced house in suburban London looked nothing like his modernist aerie or this Cape Cod-style mansion. Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times, 27 Aug. 2023 But Rowan preferred his relatively spartan digs to Black’s sumptuous aerie. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 25 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aerie.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Medieval Latin airea, aira, eria, Latinization of Old French aire, ere "bird's nest on a rock, family, stock, sort, kind," probably going back to Vulgar Latin *agrum, re-formation of Latin ager "field" — more at acre

First Known Use

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aerie was circa 1520


Dictionary Entries Near aerie

Cite this Entry

“Aerie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the nest of a bird on a cliff or a mountaintop
: a dwelling placed high up

More from Merriam-Webster on aerie

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