2 : sublime
Did You Know?
Empyreal can be traced back to the Greek word for "fiery," empyros, which was formed from the prefix em- ("in," "within," or "inside") and -pyros, from pyr, the Greek word for "fire." When empyreal entered the English language—via the Late Latin empyreus or empyrius—in the 15th century, it specifically referred to things related to the empyrean, the highest heaven or outermost heavenly sphere of ancient and medieval cosmology, which was often thought to contain or be composed of the element of fire. In the works of Christian writers—such as Dante's Divine Comedy and John Milton's Paradise Lost—this outermost heavenly sphere was associated with the Christian paradise. Empyreal is now also used more broadly in the senses of "celestial" and "sublime."
Night after night, the comet shone brightly against the empyreal tapestry of the sky.
"A jar made in Iraq, Syria or Iran, its shape is nothing special, but its color—an empyreal sapphire blue, a version of which will later adorn the domes of Safavid mosques—is out of this world." — Holland Cotter, The New York Times, 24 Dec. 2004
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Unscramble the letters to create a synonym of empyreal: EASRLNPU.VIEW THE ANSWER
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP