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See more synonyms for seraphim on Thesaurus.com
  1. a plural of seraph.
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Origin of seraphim

before 900; Middle English; Old English seraphin < Late Latin (Vulgate) seraphim < Hebrew śərāphīm


[ser-uh f]
noun, plural ser·aphs, ser·a·phim [ser-uh-fim] /ˈsɛr ə fɪm/.
  1. one of the celestial beings hovering above God's throne in Isaiah's vision. Isa. 6.
  2. a member of the highest order of angels, often represented as a child's head with wings above, below, and on each side.
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Origin of seraph

First recorded in 1660–70; back formation from seraphim
Related formsser·aph·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

baby, seraph, guardian, cherub, spirit, archangel, sprite

Examples from the Web for seraphim

Historical Examples

  • Father Seraphim began to drive them away, saying that Father Sergius was tired.

    Father Sergius

    Leo Tolstoy

  • He hears and feels what you say of the seraphim, and of the tin-peddler.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • The organ was rolling and voices arose sweet as those of seraphim.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • The Cherubim and Seraphim have wings that elevate them above our zenith.

  • Around this figure is painted a group of Seraphim on a grey blue ground.

    Ely Cathedral


British Dictionary definitions for seraphim


noun plural -aphs or -aphim (-əfɪm)
  1. theol a member of the highest order of angels in the celestial hierarchies, often depicted as the winged head of a child
  2. Old Testament one of the fiery six-winged beings attendant upon Jehovah in Isaiah's vision (Isaiah 6)
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Word Origin

C17: back formation from plural seraphim, via Late Latin from Hebrew
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 seraphim



1667, first used by Milton (probably on analogy of cherub/cherubim), back-formed singular from Old English seraphim (plural), from Late Latin seraphim, from Greek seraphim, from Hebrew seraphim (only in Isa. vi), plural of *saraph (which does not occur in the Bible), probably literally "the burning one," from saraph "it burned." Seraphs were traditionally regarded as burning or flaming angels, though the word seems to have some etymological sense of "flying," perhaps from confusion with the root of Arabic sharafa "be lofty." Some scholars identify it with a word found in other passages interpreted as "fiery flying serpent."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper