an·​gel | \ˈān-jəl \

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

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Other Words from angel

angelic \ an-​ˈje-​lik \ or angelical \ -​li-​kəl \ adjective
angelically \ -​li-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for angel


dove, innocent, lamb, sheep



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Examples of angel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Loveliness, in fiction, typically graces a pair of archetypes: the angel and the temptress. A.j. Finn,, "Gillian Flynn's 'Sharp Objects' gives women permission to be bad," 13 July 2018 Pitch Perfect 3's Elizabeth Banks is set to direct and star as Bosley (the angels' liaison with Charlie who has historically been played by a man). Ruby Buddemeyer, Marie Claire, "The Rumored Cast of the 'Charlie's Angels' Reboot Is So Freaking Good," 5 July 2018 Happy birthday to the most precious angel on earth! Dave Quinn,, "'So Into You!' Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson Kiss While Shopping in New York City," 1 July 2018 But the good angel on their shoulder talked them off the ledge. Tod Leonard,, "Mickelson made dumb decision, but USGA's U.S. Open setup is a joke," 16 June 2018 Terrier Hockey Family showing support for #HumboltBroncos #humboldtstrong Kids are leaving their sticks out for the angels to use tonight. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "In Canada, hockey sticks are used to pay tribute to team involved in terrible crash | The Kansas City Star," 9 Apr. 2018 By the time the central puzzle is solved and order restored, Kleist’s heroine and his readers have learned something about forgiveness and the folly of seeing our morally flawed fellow humans as either angels or devils. Francine Prose, WSJ, "Five Best: Francine Prose on Family Troubles," 12 July 2018 During the Christian era—Armenia officially adopted the religion at the beginning of the fourth century C.E.—crosses and angels began to appear. Glenn Dixon, Smithsonian, "The Age-Old Tradition of Armenian Carpet Making Refuses to Be Swept Under the Rug," 6 July 2018 That an American statesperson will emerge who turns to a different medium — or at least a new way of using this one — and revives the better angels of our discourse. Alexander Heffner, Time, "The American Historical Record Includes Court Cases, Famous Speeches—And Trump’s Tweets. Here’s Why That Matters," 2 July 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for angel

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for angel

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

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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

: a person (such as a child) who is very good, kind, beautiful, etc.


an·​gel | \ˈān-jəl \

Kids Definition of angel

1 : a spiritual being serving God especially as a messenger

2 : a person who is very good, kind, or beautiful

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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).


a private place of worship

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