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Aurora

[uh-rawr-uh, uh-rohr-uh]
noun, plural au·ro·ras, au·ro·rae [uh-rawr-ee, uh-rohr-ee] /əˈrɔr i, əˈroʊr i/ for defs 2, 3.
  1. the ancient Roman goddess of the dawn.Compare Eos.
  2. (lowercase) dawn.
  3. (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.
  4. a city in central Colorado, near Denver.
  5. a city in NE Illinois.
  6. 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. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for aurorae

aurora

noun plural -ras or -rae (-riː)
  1. 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
  2. poetic the dawn
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Derived Formsauroral, adjectiveaurorally, adverb

Word Origin for aurora

C14: from Latin: dawn; see east

Aurora

1
noun
  1. the Roman goddess of the dawnGreek counterpart: Eos
  2. the dawn or rise of something
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Aurora

2
noun
  1. another name for Maewo
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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 aurorae

aurora

n.

late 14c., from Latin Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn, from PIE *ausus- "dawn," also the name of the Indo-European goddess of the dawn, from root *aus- "to shine," especially of the dawn (cf. Greek eos "dawn," auein "to dry, kindle;" Sanskrit usah, Lithuanian ausra "dawn;" Latin auster "south wind," usum "to burn;" Old English east "east").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

aurorae in Science

aurora

[ə-rôrə]
Plural auroras aurorae (ə-rôrē)
  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.