Definition of ether
1a : the rarefied element formerly believed to fill the upper regions of spaceb : the upper regions of space : heavens
2a or less commonly aether \ˈē-thər\ : a medium that in the wave theory of light permeates all space and transmits transverse wavesb : airwaves
3a : a light volatile flammable liquid C4H10O used chiefly as a solvent and especially formerly as an anestheticb : any of a class of organic compounds characterized by an oxygen atom attached to two carbon atoms
ethericplay \i-ˈther-ik, -ˈthir-\ adjective
Examples of ether in a Sentence
The balloon disappeared into the ether.
Recent Examples of ether from the Web
Atop this substrate sandwich ran copper pipes that carried Gamgee’s special solution of glycerine, ether, nitrogen peroxide and water.
The name ethereum might ring a bell because hackers stole millions of dollars worth of ether last year.
O woe, my old pal #DenisJohnson has entered the ether and who knows the cause--only 67!
Packages disappeared into the ether without a trace (or a tracking number).
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ether'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of ether
Middle English, from Latin aether, from Greek aithēr, from aithein to ignite, blaze; akin to Old English ād pyre — more at edify
First Known Use: 14th century
ETHER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ether for English Language Learners
: a liquid that burns easily, that is used to turn solid substances into liquid, and that was used in medicine in the past to prevent patients from feeling pain during operations
the ether : the air : the sky
ETHER Defined for Kids
Definition of ether for Students
: a light flammable liquid used to dissolve fats and especially in the past as an anesthetic
Medical Definition of ether
1: a medium that in the wave theory of light permeates all space and transmits transverse waves
2a: a light volatile flammable liquid C4H10O used especially formerly chiefly as an anesthetic—called also diethyl ether, ethyl ether, ethyl oxideb: any of various organic compounds characterized by an oxygen atom attached to two carbon atoms
Seen and Heard
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