ephem·​era | \ i-ˈfe-mər-ə , -ˈfem-rə\
plural ephemera also ephemerae\ i-​ˈfe-​mər-​ē , -​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

Kondo and Bishop are diametrically opposed on the question of ephemera. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Delete Your Account," 10 Feb. 2019 Once the Christmas branch was up and running, the next step in right-sizing my holiday was to rummage through The Box and edit my hoard of lights, ornaments, decorations and ephemera. Al Kemp, The Seattle Times, "How I came to grips with a downsized Christmas," 12 Dec. 2018 Once states swap plastic cards for digital driver’s licenses, that perfect Florida photo will disappear into a drawer with my other wallet ephemera. Matthew Kitchen, WSJ, "Will the Smartphone Ever Truly Replace Your Beloved Wallet?," 2 Aug. 2018 Here, six writers remind us of the ephemera many of us will miss when smartphones inevitably make wallets obsolete—and a few of the worthy trade-offs our devices bring. Matthew Kitchen, WSJ, "Will the Smartphone Ever Truly Replace Your Beloved Wallet?," 2 Aug. 2018 Dog jackets, skateboards, and more ephemera were imagined by Colette’s Sarah Andelman, who worked with the Genius designers on creating exclusive merch. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Moncler Conquers Both Coasts With Their Genius Project," 5 Oct. 2018 Respect for craftsmanship, tradition, and prime materials is matched by a conspicuous disregard for the ephemera of trends, both on the part of father and son, and the artisans who have joined their studio over the years. Maria Shollenbarger, ELLE Decor, "An Italian Design Firm Transforms Discreet-but-Luxe Kitchens with a Timeless Florentine Aesthetic," 18 Oct. 2018 His store was jammed to the rafters with antique signs, musical instruments, and highway ephemera, none of which was for sale. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Long Live Route 66," 19 July 2018 Much of Blindspotting takes place in private homes and spaces, like the home Miles shares with his partner and son, and Collin’s mother’s house, which is brimming with art, ephemera, and personal belongings collected and layered over decades. Diana Budds, Curbed, "How two movies portray Oakland’s rapid change," 29 Aug. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for ephemera

Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for ephemera

The first known use of ephemera was in 1650

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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

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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).


to deny responsibility for

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