[adjective air-ee-uh l, ey-eer-ee-uh l; noun air-ee-uh l]
See more synonyms for aerial on
  1. of, in, or produced by the air: aerial currents.
  2. inhabiting or frequenting the air: aerial creatures.
  3. operating on a track or cable elevated above the ground: an aerial ski lift up the mountainside.
  4. reaching far into the air; high; lofty: aerial spires.
  5. partaking of the nature of air; airy.
  6. unsubstantial; visionary: aerial fancies.
  7. having a light and graceful beauty; ethereal: aerial music.
  8. Biology. growing in the air, as the adventitious roots of some trees.
  9. pertaining to or used for, against, or in aircraft.
  10. supplied or performed by means of aircraft: aerial support; aerial reconnaissance.
  1. a radio or television antenna.
  2. Football. forward pass.

Origin of aerial

1595–1605; 1900–05 for def 11; < Latin āeri(us) of the air (< Greek āérios, equivalent to āer- (stem of āḗr air1) + -ios adj. suffix) + -al1
Related formsaer·i·al·ly, adverbaer·i·al·ness, nounsu·per·aer·i·al, adjectivesu·per·aer·i·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aerial

Contemporary Examples of aerial

Historical Examples of aerial

  • This is another of the peculiarities of aerial construction and navigation.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • Lovers of aerial navigation have otherwise not much left to wish for.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

  • An aerial lattice spread about a portion of a six-mile hemisphere.


    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • The "grid" is connected to the aerial wire to intercept the radio waves.

  • "Now let us see the aerial," he said, and led the way outside.

    The Destroyer

    Burton Egbert Stevenson

British Dictionary definitions for aerial


  1. of, relating to, or resembling air
  2. existing, occurring, moving, or operating in the airaerial cable car; aerial roots of a plant
  3. ethereal; light and delicate
  4. imaginary; visionary
  5. extending high into the air; lofty
  6. of or relating to aircraftaerial combat
  1. Also called: antenna the part of a radio or television system having any of various shapes, such as a dipole, Yagi, long-wire, or vertical aerial, by means of which radio waves are transmitted or received

Word Origin for aerial

C17: via Latin from Greek aērios, from aēr air
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 aerial

c.1600, from Latin aerius "airy, aerial, lofty, high" (from Greek aerios "of the air, pertaining to air," from aer "air;" see air (n.1)) + adjectival suffix -al (1).


1902 (short for aerial antenna, etc.); see aerial (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper