au·​ra | \ ˈȯr-ə How to pronounce aura (audio) \

Definition of aura

1a : a distinctive atmosphere surrounding a given source The place had an aura of mystery.
b : a subtle sensory stimulus (such as an aroma)
2 medical : a subjective (see subjective entry 1 sense 4b) sensation (as of voices, colored lights, or crawling and numbness) experienced at the onset of a neurological condition and especially a migraine or epileptic seizure
3 : an energy field that is held to emanate from a living being
4 : a luminous radiation : nimbus

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Examples of aura in a Sentence

the monastery perched high on a mountaintop had an aura of unreality and mystery about it alternative medical treatments that rely on the practitioner's ability to detect a patient's aura
Recent Examples on the Web The actress posted an Instagram pic that encapsulates the exact aura of summer vacation. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Millie Bobby Brown’s Checked Bikini Is Officially the Cutest Thing to Hit My Feed Today," 23 Apr. 2021 While some of his ministers still live in Yemen, Hadi remains holed up in Riyadh, a mostly impotent encumbrance to his backers, his value limited to his (unopposed) election, and the aura of democracy that confers on his government. Nic Robertson, Nada Bashir And Charbel Mallo, CNN, "In a fabled desert city, a decisive battle could determine Yemen's fate," 23 Apr. 2021 They were all taken by the ritual and the aura of the prince's passing. Greg Palkot, Fox News, "Reporter's Notebook: The passing of a prince," 18 Apr. 2021 Part of the appeal of getting an aura photo taken is to codify some internal truth about yourself as the placement and colors themselves have deeper meanings. Sarah Spellings, Vogue, "Aura Readings on Video? Lia Ices Shows How It’s Done," 2 Apr. 2021 The aura of singularity and the auction house’s legitimation serve, transparently, to goose the price of assets functionally equivalent to Beanie Babies or CryptoKitties. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Beeple Has Won. Here’s What We’ve Lost.," 12 Mar. 2021 There might also be a sense that putting the final decision in the care solely of the man in the middle removes an aura of Big Brother. Ian Nicholas Quillen, Forbes, "Howard Webb Explains How, Why Major League Soccer Does VAR Differently," 12 Apr. 2021 An almost saintly aura surrounds any Hemingway character who displays the correct devotion to professional skills — doctors, bullfighters, fishermen, hunters, soldiers, writers. D.j. Tice, Star Tribune, "'Hemingway' faces hard facts," 5 Apr. 2021 The soft-focus blur in many scenes, intended to create an aura of magic and wonderment, appears to be hair gel smeared on an early Yeltsin-era camera lens. Michael Phillips,, "Ideal viewing for legal-weed Illinois: A long-hidden, deeply trippy 1991 Soviet TV version of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ just popped up on YouTube," 5 Apr. 2021

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

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for aura

Middle English, from Latin, puff of air, breeze, from Greek; probably akin to Greek aēr air

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Learn More about aura

Statistics for aura

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aura.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for aura



English Language Learners Definition of aura

: a special quality or feeling that seems to come from a person, place, or thing


au·​ra | \ ˈȯr-ə How to pronounce aura (audio) \

Kids Definition of aura

: a feeling that seems to be given off by a person or thing There is an aura of mystery about the house.


au·​ra | \ ˈȯr-ə How to pronounce aura (audio) \
plural auras also aurae\ -​ē How to pronounce aura (audio) \

Medical Definition of aura

: a subjective sensation (as of voices or colored lights or crawling and numbness) experienced at the onset of a neurological condition and especially a migraine or epileptic seizure About 20 percent of migraine sufferers experience an aura as the first symptom of an attack. The aura may be a pulsing star of light, or a dance of geometric forms across the visual field, sometimes turning into hallucinations …— Natalie Angier, The New York Times, 14 Sept. 1993 The migraine aura, which consists of episodes of well-defined, transient, focal neurologic dysfunction, develops over the course of more than 4 minutes and usually lasts no more than 60 minutes.— Sid Gilman, The New England Journal of Medicine, 11 June 1992 The aura is due to electrical activity originating from the seizure focus and thus represents the earliest manifestations of a partial seizure. — Gary L. Westbrook, in Principles of Neural Science, 4th edition, 2000

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