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

Definition of angel

1a religion : a spiritual being serving as a divine messenger and intermediary and often as a special protector of an individual or nation especially : one in the lowest rank in the celestial hierarchy — see also guardian angel
b angels plural, religion : an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy
c(1) : an attendant usually benevolent spirit or guardian often used without implication of belief in its supernatural character "A putting angel must have come to me during the night because I felt great today and every putt I hit was a great putt," he [Paul McGinley] said.— Nelson Clare
(2) : the part of a person's character or nature that is said to guide the person's thoughts and behavior … here was [Lyndon] Johnson charging straight at a problem, telling his fellow citizens an ugly truth about themselves while trying to invoke the better angels of their nature.— Kevin Baker [Lamar] Alexander concluded: "In his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln appealed to the better angels of our nature. If there are better angels of our nature, I guess that means there must be worse angels in us as well. …"Congressional Documents and Publications
2 : a usually white-robed winged figure of human form in fine art — see also snow angel
3 : messenger, harbinger an angel of death The dear good angel of the Spring, / The nightingale.— Ben Jonson
4 : a person who is like an angel (as in looks or behavior) Your toddler is such an angel. Be an angel and get me a cup of tea, would you? Childs is no angel either, and that gives his book its drama.— George Johnson
5 Christian Science : inspiration from God
6 : one who aids or supports with money or influence Angels are considered one of the oldest sources of capital for start-up entrepreneurs; the term itself, by most accounts, comes from the affluent patrons who used to finance Broadway plays in the early twentieth century.— Colleen Debaise Typically, angel investors put up anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 to back a young start-up, and can fund as many as 10 companies at any given time.— Michael B. Farrell
7 : angelfish

Synonyms & Antonyms for angel



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Examples of angel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Today, a decal with a halo and angel’s wings marks the place McClung once occupied at a third-floor nurses station. Adam Geller,, 13 May 2022 The strength of the products recently enabled Williams to raise $1.25M for Kushae through venture capital/angel investors, making her one of the first 100 Black women to do so. Aley Arion, Essence, 12 May 2022 The funding for the four-year-old company comes just 13 months after an initial $1 million angel investment was infused into Jomboy Media for development. Maury Brown, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Several of my pals, men and women, either have or are starting a venture fund / angel fund. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 May 2022 Grace is set on getting out of there, and the two find an angel. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, 30 Apr. 2022 So, who better to talk to than an angel in heaven, Agnes, played by Dolly Parton herself. Emily Longeretta, Variety, 29 Apr. 2022 Perhaps one of the most snuggly, affectionate and downright sweetest being in the world, Cesar is a pure angel to be around. The Arizona Republic, 29 Apr. 2022 Watching people cry over the news that MLK Jr. is dead moments after an angel drove some people insane? Samantha Highfill,, 25 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Time Traveler for angel

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

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Dictionary Entries Near angel



angel's hair

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Statistics for angel

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Angel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for angel


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

More from Merriam-Webster on angel

Nglish: Translation of angel for Spanish Speakers

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


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