[ ih-tur-nl ]
See synonyms for: eternaleternalityeternallyeternalness on

  1. without beginning or end; lasting forever; always existing (opposed to temporal): eternal life.

  2. perpetual; ceaseless; endless: eternal quarreling;eternal chatter.

  1. enduring; immutable: eternal principles.

  2. Metaphysics. existing outside all relations of time; not subject to change.

  1. something that is eternal.

  2. the Eternal. God.

Origin of eternal

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English eternale, eterneel, from Old French eternal, eternel, from Late Latin aeternālis, equivalent to aetern(us) (see eterne) + -ālis -al1

synonym study For eternal

1. Eternal, endless, everlasting, perpetual imply lasting or going on without ceasing. That which is eternal is, by its nature, without beginning or end: God, the eternal Father. That which is endless never stops but goes on continuously as if in a circle: an endless succession of years. That which is everlasting will endure through all future time: a promise of everlasting life. Perpeptual implies continuous renewal as far into the future as one can foresee: perpetual strife between nations.

Other words for eternal

Opposites for eternal

Other words from eternal

  • e·ter·nal·i·ty [ee-tur-nal-i-tee], /ˌi tɜrˈnæl ɪ ti/, e·ter·nal·ness, noun
  • e·ter·nal·ly, adverb
  • non·e·ter·nal, adjective
  • non·e·ter·nal·ness, noun
  • pre·e·ter·nal, adjective
  • qua·si-e·ter·nal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use eternal in a sentence

  • Lavoisier took the third step by showing that the matter which enters into the constitution of the universe is an eternality.

    Communism and Christianism | William Montgomery Brown
  • Mayer took the fourth step by showing that the force which enters into the constitution of the universe is an eternality.

    Communism and Christianism | William Montgomery Brown
  • It destroys on the one hand the idea of the eternality of economic laws and limits them to particular epochs.

    Socialism | John Spargo
  • Which shows that together with the non-eternality of the thing denoted there goes the non-eternality of the denoting word.

British Dictionary definitions for eternal


/ (ɪˈtɜːnəl) /

    • without beginning or end; lasting for ever: eternal life

    • (as noun): the eternal

  1. (often capital) denoting or relating to that which is without beginning and end, regarded as an attribute of God

  1. unchanged by time, esp being true or valid for all time; immutable: eternal truths

  2. seemingly unceasing; occurring again and again: eternal bickering

Origin of eternal

C14: from Late Latin aeternālis, from Latin aeternus; related to Latin aevum age

Derived forms of eternal

  • eternality or eternalness, noun
  • eternally, adverb

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