- one of a class of spiritual beings; a celestial attendant of God. In medieval angelology, angels constituted the lowest of the nine celestial orders (seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations or dominions, virtues, powers, principalities or princedoms, archangels, and angels).
- a conventional representation of such a being, in human form, with wings, usually in white robes.
- a messenger, especially of God.
- a person who performs a mission of God or acts as if sent by God: an angel of mercy.
- a person having qualities generally attributed to an angel, as beauty, purity, or kindliness.
- a person whose actions and thoughts are consistently virtuous.
- an attendant or guardian spirit.
- a deceased person whose soul is regarded as having been accepted into heaven.
- a person who provides financial backing for some undertaking, as a play, political campaign, or business venture: A group of angels entered the mix, providing George the leverage he needed to take the startup company in a new direction. Angels seek deals that they can exit in less than a decade.
- an English gold coin issued from 1470 to 1634, varying in value from 6s. 8d. to 10s. and bearing on its obverse a figure of the archangel Michael killing a dragon.
- Slang. an image on a radar screen caused by a low-flying object, as a bird.
- Informal. to provide financial backing for: Two wealthy friends angeled the Broadway revival of his show.
Origin of angel
- a male or female given name.
Related Wordsguardian, cherub, spirit, archangel, sprite, seraph, beauty, treasure, jewel, paragon, ideal, saint, dear, darling, dream, gem
Examples from the Web for angels
Murders in the City of Angels have fallen by about half in the last 10 years: no small feat for such a big city.America’s 2014 Murder Capital
January 3, 2015
This sultry ballad about break-ups and make-ups in the City of Angels is haunting stuff.The 14 Best Songs of 2014: Bobby Shmurda, Future Islands, Drake, and More
December 31, 2014
She has 16 total nominations, including one in the TV field for Angels in America.Jennifer Aniston, Oscar Nominee? 5 Takeaways from the 2015 SAG Award Nominations
December 10, 2014
There's a being far more curious to the world of ‘Magic: The Gathering’ than dragons, angels, or merfolk: female players.
But there's a being far more curious to the world of Magic: The Gathering than dragons, angels, or merfolk: female players.
And the angels waiting for them on the bank like laundresses with their clean shirts!
That night there was joy in the presence of the angels of God over a new-born soul.Life in London
Such ideas as Paradise, Adam and Eve, and angels, are getting obsolete.
If only Moxy—but he was gone where the angels came from—and theirs was a hard life!
Some such patient detachment must be that of the angels who keep the Great Record.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
- theol one of a class of spiritual beings attendant upon God. In medieval angelology they are divided by rank into nine orders: seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations (or dominions), virtues, powers, principalities (or princedoms), archangels, and angels
- a divine messenger from God
- a guardian spirit
- a conventional representation of any of these beings, depicted in human form with wings
- informal a person, esp a woman, who is kind, pure, or beautiful
- informal an investor in a venture, esp a backer of a theatrical production
- Also called: angel-noble a former English gold coin with a representation of the archangel Michael on it, first minted in Edward IV's reign
- informal an unexplained signal on a radar screen
Word Origin and History for angels
14c. fusion of Old English engel (with hard -g-) and Old French angele, both from Latin angelus, from Greek angelos "messenger, envoy, one that announces," possibly related to angaros "mounted courier," both from an unknown Oriental word (Watkins compares Sanskrit ajira- "swift;" Klein suggests Semitic sources). Used in Scriptural translations for Hebrew mal'akh (yehowah) "messenger (of Jehovah)," from base l-'-k "to send." An Old English word for it was aerendgast, literally "errand-spirit."
Of persons, "loving; lovely," by 1590s. The medieval gold coin (a new issue of the noble, first struck 1465 by Edward VI) was so called for the image of archangel Michael slaying the dragon, which was stamped on it. It was the coin given to patients who had been "touched" for the King's Evil. Angel food cake is from 1881; angel dust "phencyclidine" is from 1968.
Spirits who live in heaven with God; also the devils of hell, who are angels fallen from goodness. In the Bible (see also Bible), angels are often sent to Earth, sometimes with a human appearance, to bring the messages of God to people, to guide and protect them, or to execute God's punishments. (See Abraham and Isaac, Annunciation, cherubim, Daniel in the lions' den, Gabriel, Jacob's ladder, Lot's wife, Lucifer, Michael, Passover (see also Passover), plagues of Egypt, Satan, and Sodom and Gomorrah.)
Idioms and Phrases with angels
see fools rush in where angels fear to tread; on the side of the angels.