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

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 But Thiel’s aura emanates not so much from these achievements as from a more general fish-out-of-water quality. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, 27 Oct. 2021 For Midwesterners who may want a road-trip getaway, Lake Geneva is set on a picturesque waterfront setting which showcases the aura of fall colors in Wisconsin. Erica Lamberg, USA TODAY, 18 Oct. 2021 This seems like a rather curious question and defies the aura of goodness that surrounds the self-driving car realm. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2021 For those who are coupled up, channel the adventurous aura of Sagittarius and head out for a weekend getaway or plan a lavish date with your partner. Elizabeth Gulino,, 6 Oct. 2021 Others worked to keep the aura of the theater and its traditions alive. Sean Neumann,, 15 Sep. 2021 These are calming, contemplative lullabies surfaced from the roiling aura of the times. Washington Post, 15 Aug. 2021 Lured by the aura of degrees from top-flight institutions, many master’s students at universities across the U.S. took on debt beyond what their pay would support, an analysis of federal data on borrowers found. Wsj Noted., WSJ, 9 July 2021 Since cobbling together his party as the vehicle for his ascent in 2017, Mr. Macron has shown little interest in its fortunes, relying instead on his personal authority and the aura of the presidency. New York Times, 27 June 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

20 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aura.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 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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