[em-puh-ree-uh n, -pahy-, em-pir-ee-uh n, -pahy-ree-]


the highest heaven, supposed by the ancients to contain the pure element of fire.
the visible heavens; the firmament.


Origin of empyrean

1605–15; < Late Latin empyre(us) empyreal + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for empyrean

firmament, cosmos, sky, paradise, ether, celestial

Examples from the Web for empyrean

Historical Examples of empyrean

  • But the sun shines in the empyrean all the time, wherever the earth may be.

    Her Mother's Secret

    Emma D. E. N. Southworth

  • Instead of soaring to the empyrean, our feet are firmly planted on the earth.


    John Addington Symonds

  • The region vast: The empyrean, or tenth and highest heaven of all.

  • What to me were readers, the public, or all the world, while I was mounting the empyrean.

  • And they became what may be called an Evanescent Vapor, until all was lost in the Empyrean.

    The Cassowary

    Stanley Waterloo

British Dictionary definitions for empyrean



archaic the highest part of the (supposedly spherical) heavens, thought in ancient times to contain the pure element of fire and by early Christians to be the abode of God and the angels
poetic the heavens or sky

adjective Also: empyreal

of or relating to the sky, the heavens, or the empyrean
heavenly or sublime
archaic composed of fire

Word Origin for empyrean

C17: from Medieval Latin empyreus, from Greek empuros fiery, from pur fire
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 empyrean

mid-14c. (as empyre), from Greek empyros "fiery," from en (see en- (2)) + pyr "fire" (see fire (n.)); confused by early writers with imperial. In Greek cosmology, the highest heaven, the sphere of pure fire; later baptized with a Christian gloss as "the abode of God and the angels."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper