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[awr-ee-ohl] /ˈɔr iˌoʊl/
a radiance surrounding the head or the whole figure in the representation of a sacred personage.
any encircling ring of light or color; halo.
Astronomy, corona (def 3).
Geology. a zone of altered country rock around an igneous intrusion.
Also, aureola
[aw-ree-uh-luh, uh-ree-] /ɔˈri ə lə, əˈri-/ (Show IPA)
1175-1225; Middle English < Latin aureola (corona) golden (crown), equivalent to aure(us) golden (see aureate) + -ola, feminine of -olus -ole1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for aureole
  • 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.
  • In this case, the only polygon in this layer represents the contact aureole mapped around the pluton.
  • aureole radiation as a function of pyrheliometer field of view.
British Dictionary definitions for aureole


(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
a less common word for halo
another name for corona (sense 2)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French auréole, from Medieval Latin (corōna) aureola golden (crown), from Latin aureolus golden, from aurum gold
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 aureole

early 13c., from Latin aureola (corona), fem. diminutive of aureus "golden" (see aureate). 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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aureole in Science
  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 Article for 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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