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[em-puh-ree-uh n, -pahy-, em-pir-ee-uh n, -pahy-ree-] /ˌɛm pəˈri ən, -paɪ-, ɛmˈpɪr i ən, -ˈpaɪ ri-/
the highest heaven, supposed by the ancients to contain the pure element of fire.
the visible heavens; the firmament.
Origin of empyrean
1605-15; < Late Latin empyre(us) empyreal + -an Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for empyrean
Historical Examples
  • But the sun shines in the empyrean all the time, wherever the earth may be.

    Her Mother's Secret Emma D. E. N. Southworth
  • Instead of soaring to the empyrean, our feet are firmly planted on the earth.

    Shelley John Addington Symonds
  • The region vast: The empyrean, or tenth and highest heaven of all.

  • What to me were readers, the public, or all the world, while I was mounting the empyrean.

  • And they became what may be called an Evanescent Vapor, until all was lost in the empyrean.

    The Cassowary Stanley Waterloo
  • “Hellgate” is now the orifice in the primum mobile towards the empyrean.

  • But Prue's wings have already carried her up again into her empyrean.

    Doctor Cupid Rhoda Broughton
  • Nor was she alarmed 43at his remarkable disappearance into the empyrean.

    The Judgment of Eve

    May Sinclair
  • He climbs to no Olympus or Valhalla, he wanders through no empyrean.

    Robert Browning C. H. Herford
  • He saw himself the eyes of an army, the scout of the empyrean.

    The Last Shot

    Frederick Palmer
British Dictionary definitions for empyrean


(archaic) the highest part of the (supposedly spherical) heavens, thought in ancient times to contain the pure element of fire and by early Christians to be the abode of God and the angels
(poetic) the heavens or sky
of or relating to the sky, the heavens, or the empyrean
heavenly or sublime
(archaic) composed of fire
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin empyreus, from Greek empuros fiery, from pur fire
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 empyrean

mid-14c. (as empyre), from Greek empyros "fiery," from en (see en- (2)) + pyr "fire" (see fire (n.)); confused by early writers with imperial. In Greek cosmology, the highest heaven, the sphere of pure fire; later baptized with a Christian gloss as "the abode of God and the angels."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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