au·​ro·​ra ə-ˈrȯr-ə How to pronounce aurora (audio)
plural auroras or aurorae ə-ˈrȯr-(ˌ)ē How to pronounce aurora (audio)
: dawn
capitalized : the Roman goddess of dawn compare eos
: 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
auroral adjective
aurorean adjective

Examples of aurora in a Sentence

a gorgeous pink aurora aroused us out of our slumber
Recent Examples on the Web And second, most cruises visit the Antarctic Peninsula, where the aurora doesn't often appear overhead. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 1 Apr. 2024 So, although the aurora borealis is regularly present, it won’t be seen nearly as easily. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Since there's minimal nighttime during the summer in Finland, the best time to spot the aurora borealis is during the winter season, from December to March, when days are actually just nights. Condé Nast Traveller, Condé Nast Traveler, 26 Mar. 2024 The northern lights, or aurora borealis, represent waves of light from solar wind, creating a display of moving lights in the night sky. Jenna Prestininzi, Detroit Free Press, 25 Mar. 2024 Since the property sits directly under an aurora oval, September through April is the most popular time to visit. Julia Eskins, Condé Nast Traveler, 20 Feb. 2024 The auroras also have cultural and mythological significance. The Arizona Republic, 31 Jan. 2024 The aurora typically forms 80 to 500 kilometers above the Earth's surface. Emily Deletter, USA TODAY, 22 Jan. 2024 Also, solar storms such as flares or coronal mass ejections can trigger auroras on Earth, and many bright displays have already been seen this solar cycle. Phil Plait, Scientific American, 5 Jan. 2024

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

Word History


Latin — more at east

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near aurora

Cite this Entry

“Aurora.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


au·​ro·​ra ə-ˈrōr-ə How to pronounce aurora (audio)
plural auroras or aurorae -ē How to pronounce aurora (audio)
auroral adjective

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Au·​ro·​ra ə-ˈrȯr-ə How to pronounce Aurora (audio)
city in north central Colorado east of Denver population 325,078
city west of Chicago in northeastern Illinois population 197,899
town north of Toronto in southeastern Ontario, Canada population 53,203

More from Merriam-Webster on aurora

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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