eternal

adjective
eter·​nal | \ i-ˈtər-nᵊl \

Definition of eternal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : having infinite duration : everlasting eternal damnation
b : of or relating to eternity
c : characterized by abiding fellowship with God good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? — Mark 10:17 (Revised Standard Version)
2a : continued without intermission : perpetual an eternal flame
b : seemingly endless eternal delays
3 archaic : infernal some eternal villain … devised this slander— William Shakespeare
4 : valid or existing at all times : timeless eternal verities

eternal

noun

Definition of eternal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 capitalized : god sense 1 used with the
2 : something eternal

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Other Words from eternal

Adjective

eternalize \ i-​ˈtər-​nə-​ˌlīz \ transitive verb
eternally \ i-​ˈtər-​nᵊl-​ē \ adverb
eternalness noun

Examples of eternal in a Sentence

Adjective

the eternal flames of hell in search of eternal wisdom When will his eternal whining stop?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The beauty and brilliance of a diamond is eternal, and thus represents true love, strength, and romance. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "What’s Your Sign? Karen Elson on Her New Birthstone Perfume Bottle Tops," 18 Jan. 2019 Yet Drescher, an eternal optimist, claims this dark period only made her stronger, and a symbol of hope for other women. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "Fran Drescher Was Always Ahead of Her Time," 30 Aug. 2018 Not a slavish recapitulation of classical tropes, but a recasting of them into a work that’s somehow weighty and lithe, inexorable and unexpected, eternal and American, all at once. Tony Adler, Chicago Reader, "All My Sons joins the pantheon of Court Theatre’s great tragedies," 24 Jan. 2018 For more Alexandra, don’t miss the annual year-in-review design awards, co-authored with eternal partner-in-judgment Mark Lamster, critic at the Dallas Morning News. Curbed, "Critical Eye: A year in review," 20 Dec. 2018 White Christmas originally aired back in the 1950s, but the musical film, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen is an eternal fave film of many. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Christmas Movies on Netflix You Can Stream During the Holidays," 19 Dec. 2018 Threats of eternal damnation were not uncommon, the grand jury found. Mark Scolforo, Fox News, "Prosecutor: Priests 'weaponized' the faith to abuse kids," 16 Aug. 2018 Commentators were quick to note that Mr. Scalfari’s report was inconsistent with earlier statements by Pope Francis, who, for instance, has warned unrepentant Mafiosi of eternal damnation. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "‘There Is No Hell’: An Untraditional Pope, an Italian Journalist and the Quote Igniting Controversy," 30 Mar. 2018 When Mephistopheles threatens her with eternal damnation, the curse is always played bombastically. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Satan's minion returns to Lyric Opera in a bold new staging of 'Faust'," 27 Feb. 2018

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1573, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for eternal

Adjective

Middle English, from Middle French, from Late Latin aeternalis, from Latin aeternus eternal, from aevum age, eternity — more at aye

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Statistics for eternal

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for eternal

The first known use of eternal was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for eternal

eternal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of eternal

: having no beginning and no end in time : lasting forever
: existing at all times : always true or valid
: seeming to last forever

eternal

adjective
eter·​nal | \ i-ˈtər-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of eternal

1 : lasting forever : having no beginning and no end
2 : continuing without interruption : seeming to last forever eternal patience

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More from Merriam-Webster on eternal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with eternal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for eternal

Spanish Central: Translation of eternal

Nglish: Translation of eternal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of eternal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on eternal

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