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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
Historical Examples
  • aureole, deeply in debt, found the weather too warm for effort, and decided to let things rip.

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
  • There was an aureole of fine hairs about them which gave them the appearance of angel's wings.

    In the Control Tower Will Mohler
  • Mademoiselle hid his light under a bushel by laying a fold of shawl over his head and aureole.

  • The moonlight caught her grey hair and burnished it to an aureole of silver.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • aureole began to scribble feverishly on the back of her programme, which she then folded into a note.

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
  • aureole: a ring of color which is usually diffuse outwardly.

  • For gilding over a whole surface, as for instance an aureole round the head of a saint, the following is the best method.

    The Decoration of Leather Georges de Rcy
  • She shook out her long hair and it stretched about her like an aureole.

    Mrs. Craddock W. Somerset Maugham
  • The same evening, aureole had an earnest confabulation with her partner.

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
  • aureole let her eyes follow the disappearing craft that contained Peter.

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
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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