• synonyms


or ar·iel gazelle

[air-ee-uh l]
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  1. a mountain gazelle of Arabia, Gazella gazella arabica: almost extinct.

Origin of ariel

First recorded in 1825–35, ariel is from the dialectal Arabic word aryal


[air-ee-uh l]
  1. (in Shakespeare's Tempest) a spirit of the air who is required to use his magic to help Prospero.
  2. Astronomy. one of the moons of the planet Uranus.
  3. Aerospace. one of a series of British satellites that studied the ionosphere, cosmic rays, and x-rays.
  4. Also Ar·i·elle [ar-ee-el, air-] /ˌær iˈɛl, ˌɛər-/. a female given name.
  5. a male given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ariel


  1. an Arabian gazelle, Gazella arabica (or dama)

Word Origin

C19: from Arabic aryal


  1. the smallest of the four large satellites of Uranus
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

Word Origin and History for ariel

1382, in the Wyclif Bible, a word taken untranslated from the Vulgate, from Greek ariel (Sept.), from Hebrew ariel; in later Bibles, translated as "altar."

(Gesenius would here translate "fire-hearth of God," after Arab. arr; elsewhere in O.T. the same word occurs as a man's name, and appellation of Jerusalem, where it is taken as = "lion of God.") Ariel in T. Heywood and Milton is the name of an angel, in Shakespeare of "an Ayrie spirit"; in Astron. of one of the satellites of Uranus. [OED]

As the name of a species of gazelle found in the Middle East, 1832, from Arabic aryil, variant of ayyil "stag."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper