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[air-ee, eer-ee] /ˈɛər i, ˈɪər i/
the nest of a bird of prey, as an eagle or a hawk.
a lofty nest of any large bird.
a house, fortress, or the like, located high on a hill or mountain.
Obsolete. the brood in a nest, especially of a bird of prey.
Also, aery, eyrie, eyry.
Origin of aerie
1575-85; < Anglo-French, Old French airie, equivalent to aire (< Latin ager field, presumably “nest” in Vulgar Latin; see acre) + ie -y3; compare Medieval Latin aerea, aeria aerie, brood < Old French aire
Can be confused
aerie, airy.
aerie, eerie, Erie. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for aerie
  • Refugees from aerie offices jostle for their ration of steak.
  • Each year, a succession of debutante receptions were held in the spacious aerie.
  • Ill, they could have installed themselves in the kind of sleek, plush aerie favored by many of their art-collector peers.
  • The mountaintop aerie of the story's villainous drug-dealing industrialist is one of numerous well-shot, well-chosen settings.
  • The architects spoke of a three-story tower, with bedrooms and a bird-watching aerie on the third floor.
  • If he caught one pointing for his aerie, he would block the way and bid her sternly begone.
  • The park has one bald eagle territory and one peregrine falcon aerie which are monitored annually.
British Dictionary definitions for aerie


/ˈɛərɪ; ˈɪərɪ/
a variant spelling (esp US) of eyrie


/ˈɪərɪ; ˈɛərɪ; ˈaɪərɪ/
the nest of an eagle or other bird of prey, built in a high inaccessible place
the brood of a bird of prey, esp an eagle
any high isolated position or place
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin airea, from Latin ārea open field, hence nest
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
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Word Origin and History for aerie

"eagle's nest," 1580s (attested in Anglo-Latin from early 13c.), from Old French aire "nest," Medieval Latin area "nest of a bird of prey" (12c.), perhaps from Latin area "level ground, garden bed" [Littré], though some doubt this [Klein]. Another theory connects it to atrium. Formerly misspelled eyrie (1660s) on the mistaken assumption that it derived from Middle English ey "egg."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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