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[ser-uh f] /ˈsɛr əf/
noun, plural seraphs, seraphim
[ser-uh-fim] /ˈsɛr ə fɪm/ (Show IPA)
one of the celestial beings hovering above God's throne in Isaiah's vision. Isa. 6.
a member of the highest order of angels, often represented as a child's head with wings above, below, and on each side.
Origin of seraph
First recorded in 1660-70; back formation from seraphim
Related forms
seraphlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for seraph
Historical Examples
  • The seraph and I pressed close behind Angel, glad of the warm contact of each other's bodies.

    Explorers of the Dawn Mazo de la Roche
  • He replied, 'Madam, the kalmia has precisely the colours of a seraph's wing.'

    Evolution, Old & New Samuel Butler
  • The seraph had turned fatalist and was being squeezed nearer and nearer the "Desdemona."

    The Sixth Sense Stephen McKenna
  • The seraph cast one anguished look at his dumpling and burst into tears.

    Explorers of the Dawn Mazo de la Roche
  • The seraph treated him to a long, unhurried scrutiny, starting from the boots and working up to the freckled face and sandy hair.

    The Sixth Sense Stephen McKenna
  • "I s'pose she's a spoiled child," said The seraph, dreamily.

    Explorers of the Dawn Mazo de la Roche
  • Candidly I cannot say whether my questions were prompted by what the seraph would call a sub-conscious plan of campaign.

    The Sixth Sense Stephen McKenna
  • Our friend had The seraph between his knees, and was gazing at the back of his head.

    Explorers of the Dawn Mazo de la Roche
  • He has the face of a seraph, and a voice that lisps out curses with the fluency of a veteran trooper.

    Le Petit Nord Anne Elizabeth Caldwell (MacClanahan) Grenfell and Katie Spalding
  • The seraph stood like a rumpled robin where she had deposited him.

    Explorers of the Dawn Mazo de la Roche
British Dictionary definitions for seraph


noun (pl) -aphs, -aphim (-əfɪm)
(theol) a member of the highest order of angels in the celestial hierarchies, often depicted as the winged head of a child
(Old Testament) one of the fiery six-winged beings attendant upon Jehovah in Isaiah's vision (Isaiah 6)
Word Origin
C17: back formation from plural seraphim, via Late Latin from Hebrew
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 seraph

1667, first used by Milton (probably on analogy of cherub/cherubim), back-formed singular from Old English seraphim (plural), from Late Latin seraphim, from Greek seraphim, from Hebrew seraphim (only in Isa. vi), plural of *saraph (which does not occur in the Bible), probably literally "the burning one," from saraph "it burned." Seraphs were traditionally regarded as burning or flaming angels, though the word seems to have some etymological sense of "flying," perhaps from confusion with the root of Arabic sharafa "be lofty." Some scholars identify it with a word found in other passages interpreted as "fiery flying serpent."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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