Synonym Chooser

How is the word ephemeral different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of ephemeral are evanescent, fleeting, fugitive, momentary, transient, and transitory. While all these words mean "lasting or staying only a short time," ephemeral implies striking brevity of life or duration.

many slang words are ephemeral

When would evanescent be a good substitute for ephemeral?

The words evanescent and ephemeral are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, evanescent suggests a quick vanishing and an airy or fragile quality.

the story has an evanescent touch of whimsy that is lost in translation

How are the words fugitive and fleeting related as synonyms of ephemeral?

Both fugitive and fleeting imply passing so quickly as to make apprehending difficult.

let a fugitive smile flit across his face
fleeting moments of joy

When could momentary be used to replace ephemeral?

The words momentary and ephemeral can be used in similar contexts, but momentary suggests coming and going quickly and therefore being merely a brief interruption of a more enduring state.

my feelings of guilt were only momentary

In what contexts can transient take the place of ephemeral?

The synonyms transient and ephemeral are sometimes interchangeable, but transient applies to what is actually short in its duration or stay.

a hotel catering primarily to transient guests

When can transitory be used instead of ephemeral?

In some situations, the words transitory and ephemeral are roughly equivalent. However, transitory applies to what is by its nature or essence bound to change, pass, or come to an end.

fame in the movies is transitory


Thesaurus Entries Near ephemeral

Cite this Entry

“Ephemeral.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ephemeral. Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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