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 My eyes darted between all the ephemera and murals, the statues and stained glass and anatomically incorrect dogs, overwhelmed by all the things to look at. Soleil Ho, SFChronicle.com, "The strangest meal in Union Square," 9 Dec. 2019 Meanwhile, there’s an ever-growing number of social media accounts devoted to Soviet culture, notably Soviet Visuals, which posts images of art, ephemera, and everyday life. Sophie Pinkham, The New York Review of Books, "Realists of the Soviet Fantasy," 18 Nov. 2019 Select from wildflowers, spring ephemera, prairie and woodland plants. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A list of home and garden events for the Milwaukee area (Spring 2020 edition)," 30 Apr. 2020 So some of these pieces now fall flat, sound like routines or, worse, like historical ephemera. Luc Sante, The New York Review of Books, "The Sweet Smell of Hipness," 24 Mar. 2020 Like a video archive that is available 24/7, Locally Grown is an anti-streaming streamer, the PBS of black cultural ephemera. Jason Parham, Wired, "Locally Grown Is PBS for the Streaming Age," 24 Feb. 2020 Last year, the Brooklyn Museum hosted Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, an exhibition that displayed the artist’s clothing and cosmetics and some other ephemera alongside a handful of her paintings. Rumaan Alam, The New Republic, "The Lost World of Studio 54," 16 Mar. 2020 The mundane and quotidian memories of smells, ephemera, or small gestures heightened the intensity of the allegations. Treva B. Lindsey, Billboard, "Can I Separate Michael Jackson From the Music?: Guest Column," 22 Mar. 2019 As a result, other stray digital ephemera are sucked into this eddying body—fashion photos of NBA baller Chris Paul, a random clip of someone’s dad—all of them in conversation with one another. Jason Parham, Wired, "Kesha, Lil Wayne, and Albums That Don't Need a Viral Hit," 14 Feb. 2020

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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Last Updated

4 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ephemera.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ephemera. Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce ephemera (audio)

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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