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[awr-ee-ohl] /ˈɔr iˌoʊl/
a radiance surrounding the head or the whole figure in the representation of a sacred personage.
any encircling ring of light or color; halo.
Astronomy. corona (def 3).
Geology. a zone of altered country rock around an igneous intrusion.
Also, aureola
[aw-ree-uh-luh, uh-ree-] /ɔˈri ə lə, əˈri-/ (Show IPA)
Origin of aureole
1175-1225; Middle English < Latin aureola (corona) golden (crown), equivalent to aure(us) golden (see aureate) + -ola, feminine of -olus -ole1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for aureole
Historical Examples
  • The moonlight caught her grey hair and burnished it to an aureole of silver.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • aureole: a ring of color which is usually diffuse outwardly.

  • My eyes came round to the aureole which was their usual magnet.

    A Daughter of Raasay William MacLeod Raine
  • There was an aureole of fine hairs about them which gave them the appearance of angel's wings.

    In the Control Tower Will Mohler
  • The golden light of eventide illumined the city as with an aureole.

    On the Mexican Highlands William Seymour Edwards
  • Her burnished hair was like an aureole about her, and in her eyes was the fire of victory.

    The Shadow of Victory

    Myrtle Reed
  • She shook out her long hair and it stretched about her like an aureole.

    Mrs. Craddock W. Somerset Maugham
  • aureole broke silence with a sudden: Mr. Heron, do you think Im happy?

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
  • aureole let her eyes follow the disappearing craft that contained Peter.

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
  • aureole looked up sharply: You could have told me to move, couldnt you?

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
British Dictionary definitions for aureole


(esp in paintings of Christian saints and the deity) a border of light or radiance enveloping the head or sometimes the whole of a figure represented as holy
a less common word for halo
another name for corona (sense 2)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French auréole, from Medieval Latin (corōna) aureola golden (crown), from Latin aureolus golden, from aurum gold
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 aureole

early 13c., from Latin aureola (corona), fem. diminutive of aureus "golden" (see aureate). In medieval Christianity, the celestial crown worn by martyrs, virgins, etc., as victors over the flesh.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aureole in Science
  1. A band of metamorphic rock surrounding a body of cooled magma. Aureoles form through the process of contact metamorphism. See more at contact metamorphism.

  2. See corona.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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