\ ˈē-thər How to pronounce ether (audio) \

Definition of ether

1a : the rarefied element formerly believed to fill the upper regions of space
b : the upper regions of space : heavens
2a : a light volatile flammable liquid C4H10O used chiefly as a solvent and especially formerly as an anesthetic
b : any of a class of organic compounds characterized by an oxygen atom attached to two carbon atoms
3a or less commonly aether \ ˈē-​thər How to pronounce aether (audio) \ : a medium that in the wave theory of light permeates all space and transmits transverse waves
b : airwaves

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Other Words from ether

etheric \ i-​ˈther-​ik How to pronounce etheric (audio) , -​ˈthir-​ \ adjective

Examples of ether in a Sentence

The balloon disappeared into the ether.

Recent Examples on the Web

Toes, no matter how knobby or crooked, are suddenly elevated: cuticles are nonexistent, misshapen nails fade into the ether, and, of course, there’s always a double layer of look-at-me red lacquer. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "It’s Sandal Season and You Haven’t Had a Pedicure—Here’s How to Fake It," 6 Apr. 2019 So for the last year, the value of graphics cards has been largely driven by the value of ether. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Declining cryptocurrency prices are making graphics cards affordable again," 23 July 2018 Coinbase has experienced performance issues, including outages, slow load times and a flash crash in ether, the second most valuable virtual coin. Selina Wang,, "Square is rolling out bitcoin trading to most of its cash app users," 31 Jan. 2018 CryptoKitties has already made over $25 million worth of ether, making it a huge success. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "MLB will release a crypto baseball game on the blockchain," 13 July 2018 In 1846, a Boston dentist named William Morton discovered that sulfuric ether could safely suppress consciousness during surgery. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "How Big Pharma Was Captured by the One Percent," 28 June 2018 The Anthony Davis-to-Boston rumors have circled around the NBA ether for years, but Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver discuss the possibility of the Pelicans star landing with the Lakers., "Anthony Davis to the Lakers Makes More Sense Than You Think," 13 Feb. 2018 The new business Fidelity announced Monday, Fidelity Digital Asset Services LLC, will allow money managers, family offices and other institutional clients to trade bitcoin and ether, another digital currency. Justin Baer, WSJ, "Fidelity Says It Will Trade Bitcoin for Hedge Funds," 15 Oct. 2018 That same year, Calvin Klein released CK One into the fragrance ether. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "The Best New Perfumes Capture the Zeitgeist, From #MeToo to Wellness Mania," 25 Aug. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of ether

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

History and Etymology for ether

Middle English, from Latin aether, from Greek aithēr, from aithein to ignite, blaze; akin to Old English ād pyre — more at edify

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Statistics for ether

Last Updated

3 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ether

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

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More Definitions for ether



English Language Learners Definition of ether

: 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 air : the sky


\ ˈē-thər How to pronounce ether (audio) \

Kids Definition of ether

: a light flammable liquid used to dissolve fats and especially in the past as an anesthetic


\ ˈē-thər How to pronounce ether (audio) \

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 oxide

b : any of various organic compounds characterized by an oxygen atom attached to two carbon atoms

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More from Merriam-Webster on ether

Spanish Central: Translation of ether

Nglish: Translation of ether for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ether for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ether

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