aurora borealis

aurora bo·​re·​al·​is | \ -ˌbȯr-ē-ˈa-ləs How to pronounce aurora borealis (audio) \

Definition of aurora borealis

: an aurora that occurs in earth's northern hemisphere

called also northern lights

Examples of aurora borealis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Let your eyeballs take a vacation with this soothing time lapse of the aurora borealis. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for December 20: Dem debate, impeachment, weather, Russia, Ebola," 20 Dec. 2019 The equivalent of the aurora borealis in the Southern Hemisphere, aurora australis are most commonly found in southern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and Antarctica, per Smithsonian Magazine. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "A stunning aurora light show turned the sky green for some Australians stuck at home," 21 Apr. 2020 There are only a few accessible locations with quality views of the colorful aurora borealis. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Alaska Airlines Has Flight Discounts to See the Northern Lights," 13 Jan. 2020 These disturbances sail outward and smash into our planet’s magnetic field, creating colorful light shows like the aurora borealis and sometimes disrupting communications. Joshua Sokol, New York Times, "Sunspots and Stranded Whales: A Bizarre Correlation," 25 Feb. 2020 Palmroth, and her Facebook team of Aurora enthusiasts, had spotted a previously unclassified aurora borealis. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "How Citizen Scientists Helped Discover a New Aurora," 3 Feb. 2020 Hotels, dog mushing businesses and aurora borealis tour operators also report losing out on business. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Coronavirus leads hundreds of Chinese tourists to cancel Alaska winter trips," 19 Feb. 2020 Tromsø, one of Norway’s northernmost towns, is one of the best places in the world to view the aurora borealis dance across the sky in vibrant hues of green, blue, pink and violet. Gwen Pratesi, USA TODAY, "2020's best winter cruises: Choose from the Caribbean, Cambodia, Norway, Galápagos, more," 30 Dec. 2019 The region is a popular winter destination for tourists seeking aurora borealis, but summer is mainly for locals, climbers, car campers, and other adventurers. Mallory Farrugia, Vogue, "Why Your Next Summer Getaway Should Be Above the Arctic Circle," 14 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aurora borealis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of aurora borealis

1707, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aurora borealis

New Latin, literally, northern dawn

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about aurora borealis

Time Traveler for aurora borealis

Time Traveler

The first known use of aurora borealis was in 1707

See more words from the same year

Statistics for aurora borealis

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Aurora borealis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for aurora borealis

aurora borealis

au·​ro·​ra bo·​re·​al·​is | \ ə-ˌrȯr-ə-ˌbȯr-ē-ˈa-ləs How to pronounce aurora borealis (audio) \

Kids Definition of aurora borealis

: broad bands of light that have a magnetic and electrical source and that appear in the sky at night especially in the arctic regions

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on aurora borealis

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aurora borealis

Spanish Central: Translation of aurora borealis

Nglish: Translation of aurora borealis for Spanish Speakers

Comments on aurora borealis

What made you want to look up aurora borealis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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