ephem·​era | \ i-ˈfe-mər-ə How to pronounce ephemera (audio) , -ˈfem-rə \
plural ephemera also ephemerae\ i-​ˈfe-​mər-​ē How to pronounce ephemera (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 market for ownership rights to digital art, ephemera and media known as NFTs, is exploding. BostonGlobe.com, "The world knows her as ‘disaster girl.’ She sold an NFT of her meme for $500,000," 29 Apr. 2021 Since the fall of 2017, he's immersed himself in an overwhelming volume of recordings and ephemera, some carefully labeled, others waiting for an assistant Prince never hired. Jon Bream, Star Tribune, "From unheard songs to cat doodles, this man catalogs the contents of Prince's vault," 20 Apr. 2021 The postcards and paper ephemera can be resourced through Shirley, promoter for the Western Reserve Post Card Society. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "Looking behind Depression glass: Yenke Peddler antiques," 8 Apr. 2021 When Grace died, the cosmetics case with Jacob’s letters and other ephemera went to another grandson, Isaac III, Alta’s brother. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Lost for decades, a World War II hero finally comes home," 16 Apr. 2021 The exhibition, titled Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine, traces magazines, photography and visual ephemera from the 1930s to the 1950s, and is on view until July 11, 2021. Nadja Sayej, Forbes, "How Magazines Became High Art In The 1930s," 12 Apr. 2021 The tokens may be digital ephemera, but the potential rewards are huge. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Trophy Homes and $2.5 Million Tweets: How the Idle Rich Spent Their Pandemic Year," 10 Mar. 2021 Known for its overwhelming selection of vinyl, compact discs, DVDs, merchandise and ephemera, Amoeba returns after a harrowing year for retailers and their staffs. Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times, "After a yearlong hiatus, Amoeba Music announces April reopening in new location," 22 Mar. 2021 But it’s the sort of inane piece of ephemera that can thrive in this madcap NFT world. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "NFTs Are the Biggest Internet Craze. Do They Work for Sneakers?," 15 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for ephemera

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The first known use of ephemera was in 1650

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Statistics for ephemera

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ephemera.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ephemera. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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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