ethereal

play
adjective ethe·re·al \i-ˈthir-ē-əl\

Definition of ethereal

  1. 1a :  of or relating to the regions beyond the earthb :  celestial, heavenlyc :  unworldly, spiritual

  2. 2a :  lacking material substance :  immaterial, intangibleb :  marked by unusual delicacy or refinement this smallest, most ethereal, and daintiest of birds — William Beebec :  suggesting the heavens or heaven

  3. 3 :  relating to, containing, or resembling a chemical ether

ethereality

play \i-ˌthir-ē-ˈa-lə-tē\ noun

etherealization

play \i-ˌthir-ē-ə-lə-ˈzā-shən\ noun

etherealize

play \i-ˈthir-ē-ə-ˌlīz\ transitive verb

ethereally

play \i-ˈthir-ē-ə-lē\ adverb

etherealness

noun

ethereal was our Word of the Day on 12/19/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of ethereal in a Sentence

  1. The windows give the church an ethereal glow.

  2. that ethereal attribute that every performer should have—charisma

Recent Examples of ethereal from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ethereal'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

If you're burning to know the history of "ethereal," you're in the right spirit to fully understand that word's etymology. The ancient Greeks believed that the Earth was composed of earth, air, fire, and water, but that the heavens and its denizens were made of a purer, less tangible substance known as either "ether" or "quintessence." Ether was often described as an invisible light or fire, and its name derives from the Greek aithein, a verb meaning "to ignite" or "to blaze." When "ethereal," the adjective kin of "ether," debuted in English in the 1500s, it referred specifically to regions beyond the Earth, but it gradually came to refer to anything heavenly or airy.

1522

First Known Use of ethereal

1522


ETHEREAL Defined for English Language Learners

ethereal

play
adjective

Definition of ethereal for English Language Learners

  • : in heaven

  • : resembling heaven : seeming to belong to another world

  • : very delicate


ETHEREAL Defined for Kids

ethereal

play
adjective ethe·re·al \i-ˈthir-ē-əl\

Definition of ethereal for Students

  1. 1 :  suggesting heaven or the heavens ethereal music

  2. 2 :  very delicate :  airy


Medical Dictionary

ethereal

play
adjective ethe·re·al \i-ˈthir-ē-əl\

Medical Definition of ethereal

  1. :  relating to, containing, or resembling a chemical ether



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