au·​re·​ate ˈȯr-ē-ət How to pronounce aureate (audio)
: of a golden color or brilliance
aureate light
: marked by grandiloquent and rhetorical style
aureate diction

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This History of Aureate Is Golden

Aureate is among several adjectives in English pertaining to gold that derive from the Latin name for the metal, aurum. While its relatives auriferous and auric are more likely to appear in scientific contexts to describe substances containing or made from gold (or Au, to use its chemical symbol), aureate has tended to have a more literary allure since it was first used in English in the early 15th century. Over time, the word's use was extended from "golden" to "resplendent," and it finally lost some of its luster as it came to mean "grandiloquent."

Examples of aureate in a Sentence

the aureate speeches that are traditionally given at graduation ceremonies
Recent Examples on the Web Finally, last year, Lil Nas X’s gaze was punctuated by a set of gilded wing decals that complete his aureate ensemble. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 25 Apr. 2022 Because emotionally, they are spirited by your aureate leadership heart. Peter Weedfald, Forbes, 11 Mar. 2021 Go for the gold with Knesko’s multi-masking collection, which includes made-for-Instagram aureate treatments for the face, neck, décolleté, eyes, and lips. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, 17 Dec. 2020 If monochrome is more your speed, Pecheux swept swathes of deep aureate pigment across the lids for the downtown girls at Saint Laurent. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 3 Oct. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aureate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English aureat, from Medieval Latin aureatus decorated with gold, from Latin aureus

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aureate was in the 15th century


Dictionary Entries Near aureate

Cite this Entry

“Aureate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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