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noun, plural e·ter·ni·ties.
  1. infinite time; duration without beginning or end.
  2. eternal existence, especially as contrasted with mortal life: the eternity of God.
  3. Theology. the timeless state into which the soul passes at a person's death.
  4. an endless or seemingly endless period of time: We had to wait an eternity for the check to arrive.
  5. eternities, the truths or realities of life and thought that are regarded as timeless or eternal.

Origin of eternity

1325–75; Middle English eternite < Latin aeternitās. See eterne, -ity
Related formsnon·e·ter·ni·ty, nounpre·e·ter·ni·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for eternity


noun plural -ties
  1. endless or infinite time
  2. the quality, state, or condition of being eternal
  3. (usually plural) any of the aspects of life and thought that are considered to be timeless, esp timeless and true
  4. theol the condition of timeless existence, believed by some to characterize the afterlife
  5. a seemingly endless period of timean eternity of waiting
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 eternity

late 14c., from Old French eternité (12c.), from Latin aeternitatem (nominative aeternitas), from aeternus (see eternal). In the Mercian hymns, Latin aeternum is glossed by Old English ecnisse.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper