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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)
Origin of aureole
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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