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angel

[eyn-juh l] /ˈeɪn dʒəl/
noun
1.
one of a class of spiritual beings; a celestial attendant of God. In medieval angelology, angels constituted the lowest of the nine celestial orders (seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations or dominions, virtues, powers, principalities or princedoms, archangels, and angels).
2.
a conventional representation of such a being, in human form, with wings, usually in white robes.
3.
a messenger, especially of God.
4.
a person who performs a mission of God or acts as if sent by God:
an angel of mercy.
5.
a person having qualities generally attributed to an angel, as beauty, purity, or kindliness.
6.
a person whose actions and thoughts are consistently virtuous.
7.
an attendant or guardian spirit.
8.
a deceased person whose soul is regarded as having been accepted into heaven.
9.
a person who provides financial backing for some undertaking, as a play, political campaign, or business venture: A group of angels entered the mix, providing George the leverage he needed to take the startup company in a new direction.
Angels seek deals that they can exit in less than a decade.
10.
an English gold coin issued from 1470 to 1634, varying in value from 6s. 8d. to 10s. and bearing on its obverse a figure of the archangel Michael killing a dragon.
11.
Slang. an image on a radar screen caused by a low-flying object, as a bird.
verb (used with object), angeled, angeling or, esp. British, angelled, angelling.
12.
Informal. to provide financial backing for:
Two wealthy friends angeled the Broadway revival of his show.
Origin of angel
New Testament Greek
950
before 950; 1890-95 for def 9; Middle English a(u)ngel (< Anglo-French, Old French) < Late Latin angelus < New Testament Greek ángelos messenger of God, special use of Greek ángelos messenger; replacing Old English engel < Latin, as above
Can be confused
angel, angle.

Angel

[eyn-juh l; Spanish ahn-hel] /ˈeɪn dʒəl; Spanish ɑnˈhɛl/
noun
1.
a male or female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for angels
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And the angels waiting for them on the bank like laundresses with their clean shirts!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • That night there was joy in the presence of the angels of God over a new-born soul.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • Such ideas as Paradise, Adam and Eve, and angels, are getting obsolete.

  • If only Moxy—but he was gone where the angels came from—and theirs was a hard life!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Some such patient detachment must be that of the angels who keep the Great Record.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
British Dictionary definitions for angels

angel

/ˈeɪndʒəl/
noun
1.
(theol) one of a class of spiritual beings attendant upon God. In medieval angelology they are divided by rank into nine orders: seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations (or dominions), virtues, powers, principalities (or princedoms), archangels, and angels
2.
a divine messenger from God
3.
a guardian spirit
4.
a conventional representation of any of these beings, depicted in human form with wings
5.
(informal) a person, esp a woman, who is kind, pure, or beautiful
6.
(informal) an investor in a venture, esp a backer of a theatrical production
7.
Also called angel-noble. a former English gold coin with a representation of the archangel Michael on it, first minted in Edward IV's reign
8.
(informal) an unexplained signal on a radar screen
Word Origin
Old English, from Late Latin angelus, from Greek angelos messenger
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for angels

angel

n.

14c. fusion of Old English engel (with hard -g-) and Old French angele, both from Latin angelus, from Greek angelos "messenger, envoy, one that announces," possibly related to angaros "mounted courier," both from an unknown Oriental word (Watkins compares Sanskrit ajira- "swift;" Klein suggests Semitic sources). Used in Scriptural translations for Hebrew mal'akh (yehowah) "messenger (of Jehovah)," from base l-'-k "to send." An Old English word for it was aerendgast, literally "errand-spirit."

Of persons, "loving; lovely," by 1590s. The medieval gold coin (a new issue of the noble, first struck 1465 by Edward VI) was so called for the image of archangel Michael slaying the dragon, which was stamped on it. It was the coin given to patients who had been "touched" for the King's Evil. Angel food cake is from 1881; angel dust "phencyclidine" is from 1968.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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angels in Culture

angels definition


Spirits who live in heaven with God; also the devils of hell, who are angels fallen from goodness. In the Bible, angels are often sent to Earth, sometimes with a human appearance, to bring the messages of God to people, to guide and protect them, or to execute God's punishments. (See Abraham and Isaac, Annunciation, cherubim, Daniel in the lions' den, Gabriel, Jacob's ladder, Lot's wife, Lucifer, Michael, Passover, plagues of Egypt, Satan, and Sodom and Gomorrah.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for angels

angel

noun

  1. A person who contributes to a politician's campaign fund (1920+)
  2. A financial contributor to any enterprise, esp a stage production; butter-and-egg man (1920s+ Theater)
  3. A thief's or confidence man's victim; mark, patsy (Underworld)
  4. A homosexual male (1930s+ Homosexuals)
  5. A vague and illusory image on a radar screen, often due to bird flights, rare atmospheric conditions, or electronic defects
  6. A helicopter that hovers near an aircraft carrier to rescue aircrew who crash into the water (Vietnam War Navy)

verb

: My doctor angeled one of his friend's plays

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with angels
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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7
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