[ uh-rawr-uh, uh-rohr-uh ]
/ əˈrɔr ə, əˈroʊr ə /
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noun, plural au·ro·ras, au·ro·rae [uh-rawr-ee, uh-rohr-ee] /əˈrɔr i, əˈroʊr i/ for defs. 2, 3.

the ancient Roman goddess of the dawn.Compare Eos.
(lowercase) dawn.
(lowercase)Meteorology. a radiant emission from the upper atmosphere that occurs sporadically over the middle and high latitudes of both hemispheres in the form of luminous bands, streamers, or the like, caused by the bombardment of the atmosphere with charged solar particles that are being guided along the earth's magnetic lines of force.
a city in central Colorado, near Denver.
a city in NE Illinois.
a female given name.



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Origin of Aurora

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin aurōra dawn, dawn goddess, east
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
  • Trailing slowly through the desert toward Aurorae Sinus, they passed near the skeleton bodies.

    Rebels of the Red Planet|Charles Louis Fontenay

British Dictionary definitions for Aurora (1 of 3)

/ (ɔːˈrɔːrə) /

noun plural -ras or -rae (-riː)

an atmospheric phenomenon consisting of bands, curtains, or streamers of light, usually green, red, or yellow, that move across the sky in polar regions. It is caused by collisions between air molecules and charged particles from the sun that are trapped in the earth's magnetic field
poetic the dawn
auroral, adjectiveaurorally, adverb
C14: from Latin: dawn; see east

British Dictionary definitions for Aurora (2 of 3)

/ (ɔːˈrɔːrə) /


the Roman goddess of the dawnGreek counterpart: Eos
the dawn or rise of something

British Dictionary definitions for Aurora (3 of 3)

/ (ɔːˈrɔːrə) /


another name for Maewo
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

Scientific definitions for Aurora

[ ə-rôrə ]

Plural auroras aurorae (ə-rôrē)

A brilliant display of bands or folds of variously colored light in the sky at night, especially in polar regions. Charged particles from the solar wind are channeled through the Earth's magnetic field into the polar regions. There the particles collide with atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere, ionizing them and making them glow. Auroras are of greatest intensity and extent during periods of increased sunspot activity, when they often interfere with telecommunications on Earth.♦ An aurora that occurs in southern latitudes is called an aurora australis (ô-strālĭs) or southern lights. When it occurs in northern latitudes it is called an aurora borealis (bôr′ē-ălĭs) or northern lights. See also magnetic storm.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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