au·​ro·​ra | \ ə-ˈrȯr-ə How to pronounce aurora (audio) , ȯ- \
plural auroras or aurorae\ ə-​ˈrȯr-​(ˌ)ē How to pronounce aurora (audio) , ȯ-​ \

Definition of aurora

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : dawn
2 capitalized : the Roman goddess of dawn — compare eos
3 : a luminous phenomenon that consists of streamers or arches of light appearing in the upper atmosphere of a planet's magnetic polar regions and is caused by the emission of light from atoms excited by electrons accelerated along the planet's magnetic field lines


geographical name
Au·​ro·​ra | \ ə-ˈrȯr-ə How to pronounce Aurora (audio) , ȯ- \

Definition of Aurora (Entry 2 of 2)

1 city in north central Colorado east of Denver population 325,078
2 city west of Chicago in northeastern Illinois population 197,899
3 town north of Toronto in southeastern Ontario, Canada population 53,203

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Other Words from aurora


auroral \ ə-​ˈrȯr-​əl How to pronounce Aurora (audio) , ȯ-​ \ adjective
aurorean \ ə-​ˈrȯr-​ē-​ən How to pronounce Aurora (audio) , ȯ-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for aurora

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of aurora in a Sentence

Noun a gorgeous pink aurora aroused us out of our slumber
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer show the aurora standing out against the dark nightside disk of Mars. Kenneth Chang, Star Tribune, 17 July 2021 Guided by Jupiter’s magnetic field, the ions surf the EMIC wave and eventually slam into the planet’s poles, triggering the X-ray aurora. Katie Hunt, CNN, 9 July 2021 By coordinating Hope’s aurora photographs with MAVEN’s particle measurements, planetary scientists might be able to put together a more complete understanding of the night lights of Mars. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, 30 June 2021 Clearly, the aurora is bringing the heat — and, as with a radiator, that heat decreases with distance. Quanta Magazine, 22 June 2021 Koehn believes being able to understand the acceleration mechanism for the aurora-causing electrons will be helpful in many studies in the future. Jennifer Gray, CNN, 7 June 2021 Wooden chalets are also available, some with an igloo annex for an even more comfortable aurora-hunting experience. David Nikel, Forbes, 3 June 2021 In 2018, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst captured a photo of an aurora from space and shared it to Twitter. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, 28 Nov. 2020 Bright displays of aurora around equinox are no coincidence. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 20 Mar. 2021

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aurora


Latin — more at east

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The first known use of aurora was in the 14th century

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Statistics for aurora

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Aurora.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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