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ethereal

[ih-theer-ee-uh l]
adjective
  1. light, airy, or tenuous: an ethereal world created through the poetic imagination.
  2. extremely delicate or refined: ethereal beauty.
  3. heavenly or celestial: gone to his ethereal home.
  4. of or relating to the upper regions of space.
  5. Chemistry. pertaining to, containing, or resembling ethyl ether.
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Also ae·the·re·al (for defs 1–4).

Origin of ethereal

1505–15; < Latin aethere(us) (< Greek aithérios), equivalent to aether- ether + -eus adj. suffix + -al1
Related formse·the·re·al·i·ty, e·the·re·al·ness, noune·the·re·al·ly, adverbe·the·re·ous, adjectivenon·e·the·re·al, adjectivenon·e·the·re·al·ly, adverbnon·e·the·re·al·ness, nounnon·e·the·re·al·i·ty, nounun·e·the·re·al, adjectiveun·e·the·re·al·ly, adverbun·e·the·re·al·ness, noun

aether

[ee-ther]
noun
  1. ether(defs 3–5).
  2. (initial capital letter) the ancient Greek personification of the clear upper air of the sky.
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Related formsae·the·re·al [ih-theer-ee-uh l] /ɪˈθɪər i əl/, ae·ther·ic [ih-ther-ik] /ɪˈθɛr ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aethereal

Historical Examples

  • No stronger proof of their aethereal conversational earnestness could be offered.

    The Amazing Marriage, Complete

    George Meredith

  • We on the earth's surface live night and day in the midst of aethereal commotion.


British Dictionary definitions for aethereal

aethereal

adjective
  1. a variant spelling of ethereal (def. 1), ethereal (def. 2), ethereal (def. 3)
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Derived Formsaethereality (ɪˌθɪərɪˈælɪtɪ), nounaethereally, adverb

aether

noun
  1. a variant spelling of ether (def. 3), ether (def. 4), ether (def. 5)
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ethereal

adjective
  1. extremely delicate or refined; exquisite
  2. almost as light as air; impalpable; airy
  3. celestial or spiritual
  4. of, containing, or dissolved in an ether, esp diethyl etheran ethereal solution
  5. of or relating to the ether
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Derived Formsethereality or etherealness, nounethereally, adverb

Word Origin

C16: from Latin aethereus, from Greek aitherios, from aithēr ether
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 aethereal

ethereal

adj.

1510s, "of the highest regions of the atmosphere," from ether + -al (1); extended sense of "light, airy" is from 1590s. Meaning "spiritlike, immaterial" is from 1640s. Related: Ethereally.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

aethereal in Medicine

ethereal

(ĭ-thîrē-əl)
adj.
  1. Characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; intangible.
  2. Of, relating to, or containing ether.
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Related formse•the′re•ali•ty (-ălĭ-tē) null n.e•there•al•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.