aureole

[awr-ee-ohl]
noun
1.
a radiance surrounding the head or the whole figure in the representation of a sacred personage.
2.
any encircling ring of light or color; halo.
3.
Astronomy, corona ( def 3 ).
4.
Geology. a zone of altered country rock around an igneous intrusion.
Also, aureola [aw-ree-uh-luh, uh-ree-] .


Origin:
1175–1225; Middle English < Latin aureola (corona) golden (crown), equivalent to aure(us) golden (see aureate) + -ola, feminine of -olus -ole1

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World English Dictionary
aureole or aureola (ˈɔːrɪˌəʊl, ɔːˈriːələ)
 
n
1.  (esp in paintings of Christian saints and the deity) a border of light or radiance enveloping the head or sometimes the whole of a figure represented as holy
2.  a less common word for halo
3.  another name for corona
 
[C13: from Old French auréole, from Medieval Latin (corōna) aureola golden (crown), from Latin aureolus golden, from aurum gold]
 
aureola or aureola
 
n
 
[C13: from Old French auréole, from Medieval Latin (corōna) aureola golden (crown), from Latin aureolus golden, from aurum gold]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

aureole
early 13c., from L. fem. adj. dim. of aureus "golden." In medieval Christianity, the celestial crown worn by martyrs, virgins, etc., as victors over the flesh.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
aureole   (ôr'ē-ōl')  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A band of metamorphic rock surrounding a body of cooled magma. Aureoles form through the process of contact metamorphism. See more at contact metamorphism.

  2. See corona.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

aureole

brightly illuminated area surrounding an atmospheric light source, such as the Sun, when the light is propagated through a medium containing many sizes of particles or droplets that are large compared to the wavelength of the light. Because the wavelength of visible light is about 0.00005 cm (0.5 micrometre), particles of size greater than about 0.0001 cm (1 micrometre) will give rise to aureoles. Physically, aureoles are caused by the diffraction of large amounts of the incident light around the edges of the particles in directions deviating only slightly from that of the light source. In the atmosphere, aureoles may frequently be observed when a thin cloud passes between the Sun or Moon and the observer. If the cloud is composed of a wide range of droplet sizes, then the aureole will be observed. It is generally white in colour, but a brownish outer ring and bluish inner edge may sometimes be observed. Dense atmospheric haze also produces an easily observable solar aureole, apparent as a very bright region immediately surrounding the Sun, with a gradual tapering off of brightness with an increasing angle from the Sun.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The viewer is either on the planet or somewhere within its atmosphere because
  the sun has an aureole.
Adjacent spots of blue and yellow, for instance, would create a joint aureole
  of green.
Her hair is a tousled white aureole, and her gray eyes dim and brighten without
  warning.
His full beard is a pious aureole for his shining countenance.
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