au·​ra ˈȯr-ə How to pronounce aura (audio)
: a distinctive atmosphere surrounding a given source
The place had an aura of mystery.
: a subtle sensory stimulus (such as an aroma)
medical : a subjective (see subjective entry 1 sense 4b) sensation (as of voices, colored lights, or crawling and numbness) experienced at the onset of a neurological condition and especially a migraine or epileptic seizure
: an energy field that is held to emanate from a living being
: a luminous radiation : nimbus

Example Sentences

the monastery perched high on a mountaintop had an aura of unreality and mystery about it alternative medical treatments that rely on the practitioner's ability to detect a patient's aura
Recent Examples on the Web As Daphne comes to terms with her own identity as both Jerry and Daphne, Ghee’s voice soars, giving the character an effortlessly confident aura. Samuel Maude, ELLE, 14 Feb. 2023 This Ree Projects bag gives off an aura of mornings at an under-the-radar café and afternoons strolling exclusive galleries, thanks to its sculpture-like silhouette and creamy leather. Halie Lesavage, Harper's BAZAAR, 25 Jan. 2023 After the reading, Merrick will suggest styles and colors that support your existing aura. Dianna Mazzone, Allure, 23 Jan. 2023 This cologne, known as pheromone cologne, helps stimulate the senses and adds an extra layer of attraction to your masculine aura. Dallas News, 30 Nov. 2022 Marked by the artist’s apparent unconcern with conventional modeling and draftsmanship and by the velvety smoothness of his brushwork, the paintings exude an aura of quietude and utter perfection unrivaled in the work of his peers. Mary Tompkins Lewis, WSJ, 26 Nov. 2022 My phone could never capture the beauty of your aura. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 19 Sep. 2022 The incident gained an aura of mystery as details of it slowly emerged. Manuel Roig-franzia, Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2023 If the tree happened to be on ancestral indigenous land, someone invented racist, pseudo-indigenous fictions to lend the tree an aura of romance. Verlyn Klinkenborg, The New York Review of Books, 2 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aura.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Latin, puff of air, breeze, from Greek; probably akin to Greek aēr air

First Known Use

1686, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of aura was in 1686

Dictionary Entries Near aura

Cite this Entry

“Aura.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


au·​ra ˈȯr-ə How to pronounce aura (audio)
: a special quality or impression associated with something
an aura of holiness

Medical Definition


au·​ra ˈȯr-ə How to pronounce aura (audio)
plural auras also aurae -ē How to pronounce aura (audio)
: a subjective sensation (as of voices or colored lights or crawling and numbness) experienced at the onset of a neurological condition and especially a migraine or epileptic seizure
About 20 percent of migraine sufferers experience an aura as the first symptom of an attack. The aura may be a pulsing star of light, or a dance of geometric forms across the visual field, sometimes turning into hallucinations …Natalie Angier, The New York Times
The migraine aura, which consists of episodes of well-defined, transient, focal neurologic dysfunction, develops over the course of more than 4 minutes and usually lasts no more than 60 minutes.Sid Gilman, The New England Journal of Medicine
The aura is due to electrical activity originating from the seizure focus and thus represents the earliest manifestations of a partial seizure.Gary L. Westbrook, in Principles of Neural Science, 4th edition

More from Merriam-Webster on aura

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