ephem·​era | \ i-ˈfe-mər-ə How to pronounce ephemera (audio) , -ˈfem-rə\
plural ephemera also ephemerae\ i-​ˈfe-​mər-​ē How to pronounce ephemerae (audio) , -​ˈfem-​rē \ or ephemeras

Definition of ephemera

1 : something of no lasting significance usually used in plural
2 ephemera plural : paper items (such as posters, broadsides, and tickets) that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles

Examples of ephemera in a Sentence

He has a large collection of old menus and other ephemera.

Recent Examples on the Web

The rest of the time, Tejas Steakhouse has its menagerie of vintage rifles, trophy mounts and Western ephemera to build a cowboy aura. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Review: Rodeo spirit energizes Tejas Steakhouse in Bulverde," 11 July 2019 Her interests include artists’ books, ephemera, and other intersections of text and image. The New York Review of Books, "Megan N. Liberty," 24 Nov. 2018 Others at the convention were also working, including a bunch of vendors selling various kinds of sci-fi ephemera, figurines, costumes and other kitsch. Kevin Rector, baltimoresun.com, "‘It’s just fun’: Sci-fi fans dress up and meet their heroes at the Shore Leave 41 convention in Hunt Valley," 13 July 2019 Each one is a bit like the time capsule that my kids made as fourth-graders and buried in Golden Gate Park for their peers to dig up, a shoe box of ephemera meant to freeze an era. Diana Kapp, Washington Post, "Every year I write my daughter a letter. They’ve helped her find herself.," 11 July 2019 His personal collection tells us a lot about fandom—and about the life cycles of music ephemera. Longreads, "The Top 5 Longreads of the Week," 27 June 2019 And yet a steady gurgling of moon truther ephemera has remained since the 1970s, from books to documentaries and now, YouTube videos. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "An almost-serious investigation into the money behind the moon hoax theory.," 24 June 2019 Personally, though, collecting such a random and disorganized assortment of Harry Potter ephemera has felt a little bit directionless so far. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Wizards Unite is a bloated, slow, Harry Potter-ified Pokémon Go," 21 June 2019 There will be live music and entertainment, Ukrainian food and vendors with Ukrainian ephemera and clothing for sale. Greg Burnett, cleveland.com, "Fourth of July celebrations in and around Cleveland," 27 June 2019

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

1650, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ephemera

New Latin, from Greek ephēmera, neuter plural of ephēmeros

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ephemera

Statistics for ephemera

Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ephemera

The first known use of ephemera was in 1650

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ephemera



English Language Learners Definition of ephemera

: things that are important or useful for only a short time : items that were not meant to have lasting value

More from Merriam-Webster on ephemera

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ephemera

Comments on ephemera

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


not constant or steady

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

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!