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

Essential Meaning of aura

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

Full 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 These relics have charm and an iconic aura, and there’s an undeniable kick in seeing them in person. New York Times, 30 Sep. 2021 Some aura has already been created by Indiana thanks to stronger play since the WNBA’s Olympic break. Tony East, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 Immediately after 9/11, a lot of older friends and mentors of mine have told me that the whole aura and vibe in America pretty much changed overnight. Shannon Rae Green, USA TODAY, 13 Sep. 2021 There was really a special aura surrounding that recording. Billboard Japan, Billboard, 20 Aug. 2021 Williams, the daughter of a Congregational minister, invokes themes of purity and sin, and yet the religious retains an aura of anachronism. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 20 Sep. 2021 Most of all, does the loss impact the Buckeyes' aura of invincibility heading into Big Ten play — making it far from an accepted certainty that Penn State, Iowa and others are playing for second place? Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 11 Sep. 2021 Martin, who co-created the series with Jonathan Hoffman, brings an aura of pathos to Charles, who has retreated into his cave professionally and romantically., 26 Aug. 2021 Nevertheless, sweetness and fat were enough to lend cakes an aura of the extraordinary and earn them a ritualistic role in our lives. New York Times, 11 Aug. 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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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aura.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for aura


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 an aura of dignity


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

More from Merriam-Webster on aura

Nglish: Translation of aura for Spanish Speakers

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


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