aurora

noun
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

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

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

Examples of aurora in a Sentence

a gorgeous pink aurora aroused us out of our slumber
Recent Examples on the Web The aurora photos from the ISS were taken on Wednesday, August 17, shortly before Hines shared them on Twitter. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 21 Aug. 2022 The aurora will be visible closer to the horizon and will appear higher up in the sky the farther north the viewer are located. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 19 Aug. 2022 Could there now be a boom in people traveling north not only to see the aurora, but also the hear it? Jamie Carter, Forbes, 2 June 2022 The colorful aurora forms when the particles flowing from the sun get caught up in the Earth's magnetic field. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 31 Mar. 2022 The aurora will be visible closer to the horizon, and will appear higher up in the sky the farther north you are located. Sarah Raza, Detroit Free Press, 17 Aug. 2022 The colorful aurora forms when the particles flowing from the sun get caught up in the Earth's magnetic field. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 31 Mar. 2022 The colorful aurora forms when the particles flowing from the sun get caught up in the Earth's magnetic field. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 31 Mar. 2022 The colorful aurora forms when the particles flowing from the sun get caught up in the Earth's magnetic field. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 30 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of aurora

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aurora

Latin — more at east

Learn More About aurora

Time Traveler for aurora

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near aurora

aurocyanide

aurora

Aurora

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for aurora

Last Updated

21 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Aurora.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aurora. Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for aurora

Aurora geographical name

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

Definition of Aurora

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

More from Merriam-Webster on aurora

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about aurora

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!