[ ih-theer-ee-uhl ]
See synonyms for: etherealetherealityethereallyetherealness on

  1. light, airy, or tenuous: an ethereal world created through the poetic imagination.

  2. extremely delicate or refined: ethereal beauty.

  1. heavenly or celestial: gone to his ethereal home.

  2. of or relating to the upper regions of space.

  3. Chemistry. pertaining to, containing, or resembling ether.

Origin of ethereal

First recorded in 1505–15; from Latin aethere(us) (from Greek aithérios ), equivalent to aether- ether + -eus adjective suffix + -al1
  • Also ae·the·re·al (for defs. 1-4) .

Other words from ethereal

  • e·the·re·al·i·ty, e·the·re·al·ness, noun
  • e·the·re·al·ly, adverb
  • e·the·re·ous, adjective
  • non·e·the·re·al, adjective
  • non·e·the·re·al·ly, adverb
  • non·e·the·re·al·ness, noun
  • non·e·the·re·al·i·ty, noun
  • un·e·the·re·al, adjective
  • un·e·the·re·al·ly, adverb
  • un·e·the·re·al·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ethereal in a sentence

  • She had numerous chins, but, imbedded in flesh, one could still trace a likeness to an ethereally fair daughter.

    Lady Cassandra | Mrs George de Horne Vaizey
  • Electric light was not permitted, and the room was lit only by a few green-shaded candles which made the invalid ethereally pale.

    The Heather-Moon | C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
  • In the East there was a low bar of ethereally pale silver, which turned to amber, and then to ashes of roses, and then to gold.

    The Prairie Wife | Arthur Stringer
  • His canvases are thronged with fair shapes, pretty women and dancing children, ethereally soft and lovely.

British Dictionary definitions for ethereal


/ (ɪˈθɪərɪəl) /

  1. extremely delicate or refined; exquisite

  2. almost as light as air; impalpable; airy

  1. celestial or spiritual

  2. of, containing, or dissolved in an ether, esp diethyl ether: an ethereal solution

  3. of or relating to the ether

Origin of ethereal

C16: from Latin aethereus, from Greek aitherios, from aithēr ether

Derived forms of ethereal

  • ethereality or etherealness, noun
  • ethereally, 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