em·​py·​re·​an | \ ˌem-ˌpī-ˈrē-ən How to pronounce empyrean (audio) , -pə-; em-ˈpir-ē-ən How to pronounce empyrean (audio) , -ˈpī-rē- \

Definition of empyrean

 (Entry 1 of 2)



Definition of empyrean (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the highest heaven or heavenly sphere in ancient and medieval cosmology usually consisting of fire or light
b : the true and ultimate heavenly paradise
3 : an ideal place or state

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Synonyms & Antonyms for empyrean

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of empyrean in a Sentence

Adjective movie scenes set in heaven often suggest that harps are the favored instruments for empyrean music Noun ascended into the empyrean after a life filled with good deeds most ticket buyers have no trouble envisioning the empyrean that winning the lottery would inevitably bring about
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective At their best, Harjo’s poems inform each other, linking her different modes, facilitating her tendency to zoom from a personal experience to a more empyrean one. Maya Phillips, The New Yorker, 29 Aug. 2019 Louis leaves Prior, drawing the first line in a pattern of abandonment that informs the entire play, and finally stretches all the way into the empyrean kingdom of an absent God. Ben Brantley, New York Times, 25 Mar. 2018 Our badges looked different, we were afforded fewer privileges, and we were certainly kept in the dark about The Algorithm (pause for heavenly-choir noise effect) and other such empyrean secrets. Lucas Peterson, GQ, 22 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Unfortunately, for those who see Mr. Donnelly’s empyrean status less as the result of an Immaculate Kawnception and more as another harbinger of Artistic Kawpocalypse, the show will do little to change previous conceptions about him or his art. Brian P. Kelly, WSJ, 6 Mar. 2021 That could quickly propel a few black schools into the athletic empyrean, and change the place of HBCUs in American culture. Jemele Hill, The Atlantic, 5 Sep. 2019 Grahm reaches for the empyrean, and Locke brings him back to earth, a table full of wine bottles between them. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 14 May 2018 Grahm reaches for the empyrean, and Locke brings him back to earth, a table full of wine bottles between them. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 14 May 2018 But even in the empyrean reaches of premium cable, Shondaland has a voice. Wesley Morris And James Poniewozik, New York Times, 10 Feb. 2016

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


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for empyrean

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The first known use of empyrean was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Empyrean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empyrean. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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