an·​gel | \ ˈān-jəl How to pronounce angel (audio) \

Definition of angel

1a : a spiritual being superior to humans in power and intelligence especially : one in the lowest rank in the celestial hierarchy
b angels plural : an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy
2 : an attendant spirit or guardian guardian angels who watch over us
3 : a usually white-robed winged figure of human form in fine art
4 : messenger, harbinger an angel of death
5 : a person who is like an angel (as in looks or behavior) Your son is such an angel. She's no angel. Be an angel and get me a cup of tea, would you?
6 Christian Science : inspiration from God
7 : one (such as a backer of a theatrical venture) who aids or supports with money or influence Angels funded the start-up company.
8 : angelfish

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from angel

angelic \ an-​ˈje-​lik How to pronounce angelic (audio) \ or angelical \ -​li-​kəl How to pronounce angelical (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for angel


dove, innocent, lamb, sheep



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of angel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For the first year, the education program met its financial goal through the help of an angel donor. Emily Brindley,, "After community farm abruptly shutters programs, Simsbury residents ask for solutions," 13 Aug. 2019 Shaofon's last memory of his father is when the two of them made snow angels the day before Xiyue left for Iran. Margaret Brennan, CBS News, "Wife of Iran hostage fights for his release since his arrest 3 years ago," 8 Aug. 2019 The program purported to teach students how to communicate with angels. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Princess Märtha Louise of Norway Is No Stranger to Notoriety," 8 Aug. 2019 In the past, the president’s calls to the nation’s better angels, without renouncing his own divisive language about immigrants and political opponents, have proved fleeting. Jonathan Lemire, The Denver Post, "Trump vows urgent action after mass shootings, offers few details," 5 Aug. 2019 Police officers and firefighters are lifesaving angels to many. Jennifer Edwards Baker,, "World-renowned surgeon sues UC, alleges retaliation, sex & military discrimination," 2 Aug. 2019 There are many wonderful pasta shapes in the world, but angel hair isn’t one of them. Carla Lalli Music, Bon Appétit, "You Couldn’t Pay Me to Eat Angel Hair," 25 July 2019 Hark the herald angels, Ellis finally listened and brought in younger players!, "Women's World Cup Throwback: 5 Moments Which Defined the USWNT's Four-Year Journey to the Top," 29 July 2019 Politicians and pundits spent the evening in those little boxes on TV, jabbering about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin — but Robert Mueller isn’t one of them. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: Dems should be blaming themselves," 28 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'angel.' 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 angel

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for angel

Middle English, from Old English engel & Anglo-French angele; both from Late Latin angelus, from Greek angelos, literally, messenger

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about angel

Statistics for angel

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for angel

The first known use of angel was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for angel



English Language Learners Definition of angel

: a spiritual being that serves especially as a messenger from God or as a guardian of human beings
informal : a person (such as a child) who is very good, kind, beautiful, etc.


an·​gel | \ ˈān-jəl How to pronounce angel (audio) \

Kids Definition of angel

1 : a spiritual being serving God especially as a messenger
2 : a person who is very good, kind, or beautiful

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on angel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for angel

Spanish Central: Translation of angel

Nglish: Translation of angel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of angel for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about angel

Comments on angel

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


of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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