aurora borealis

[ bawr-ee-al-is, -ey-lis, bohr- ]
See synonyms for: aurora%20borealises on

  1. the aurora of the Northern Hemisphere.

Origin of aurora borealis

1621; <New Latin: northern aurora; see boreal

Words Nearby aurora borealis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use aurora borealis in a sentence

  • Expect aurora borealis   in the long foray but no cascade of light.

  • Trying to fathom the abyss below them, he saw the flames of the aurora borealis reflected in the water of an immense lake.

    Urania | Camille Flammarion
  • The aurora borealis is a body of dancing spirits, or rather ghosts of the departed.

    The Indian in his Wigwam | Henry R. Schoolcraft
  • I have it: it's the aurora borealis; nothing worse, nor more dangerous.

    Left on Labrador | Charles Asbury Stephens
  • The aurora borealis appears frequently in form of an arch, chiefly in the spring and autumn, after a dry year.

  • The stars, too, and the aurora borealis, helped to make up for the total absence of the sun.

    Fast in the Ice | R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for aurora borealis

aurora borealis

/ (ˌbɔːrɪˈeɪlɪs) /

  1. (sometimes capital) the aurora seen around the North Pole: Also called: northern lights

Origin of aurora borealis

C17: New Latin: northern aurora

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

Cultural definitions for aurora borealis

aurora borealis

[ (uh-rawr-uh bawr-ee-al-is) ]

A display of colored lights in the sky, also called northern lights, caused by the interaction of particles from the sun with the upper atmosphere near the North Pole. A similar display, called the aurora australis, occurs in the atmosphere above the South Pole.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.