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[ih-fem-er-uh] /ɪˈfɛm ər ə/
noun, plural ephemeras, ephemerae
[ih-fem-uh-ree] /ɪˈfɛm əˌri/ (Show IPA),
for 2.
a plural of ephemeron.
an ephemerid.
Origin of ephemera
1670-80; < Greek ephḗmera, neuter plural of ephḗmeros, taken as singular; see ephemeral


[ih-fem-uh-ron, -er-uh n] /ɪˈfɛm əˌrɒn, -ər ən/
noun, plural ephemera
[ih-fem-er-uh] /ɪˈfɛm ər ə/ (Show IPA),
anything short-lived or ephemeral.
ephemera, items designed to be useful or important for only a short time, especially pamphlets, notices, tickets, etc.
1570-80; < Greek ephḗmeron short-lived insect, noun use of neuter of ephḗmeros; see ephemeral Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ephemera
  • It will either confirm earlier measurements of the axis of evil or show them to be ephemera.
  • He made collages from pulpy ephemera such as starlet photographs and astronomical maps.
  • ephemera from the museum's own collection will also be among the hundreds of items displayed.
  • By nature, a sweet sensation is more fleeting than lasting, a leap into the ephemera.
  • While it has its virtues, it mainly offers unreviewed and probably otherwise unpublishable misinformation, trivia and ephemera.
  • But too many blogs-with their half-digested ideas and slapdash commentary on daily ephemera-show that gatekeepers have their uses.
  • School inspections, meanwhile, would concentrate more on teaching and less on such ephemera as compliance with safety regulations.
  • It is the spontaneous expression of instant thought-impermanent beyond even the ephemera of daily journalism.
  • They write about sports and celebrities, thinking that these ephemera are more interesting than what is happening to the world.
  • Taken seriously and discussed excitedly for a few weeks, the canard soon disappeared along with the other ephemera of the day.
British Dictionary definitions for ephemera


noun (pl) -eras, -erae (-əˌriː)
a mayfly, esp one of the genus Ephemera
something transitory or short-lived
(functioning as pl) a class of collectable items not originally intended to last for more than a short time, such as tickets, posters, postcards, or labels
a plural of ephemeron
Word Origin
C16; see ephemeral


noun (pl) -era (-ərə), -erons
(usually pl) something transitory or short-lived
Word Origin
C16: see ephemeral
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 ephemera

late 14c., originally a medical term, from Medieval Latin ephemera (febris) "(fever) lasting a day," from fem. of ephemerus, from Greek ephemeros "lasting only one day, short-lived," from epi "on" (see epi-) + hemerai, dative of hemera "day," from PIE *amer- "day."

Sense extended 17c. to short-lived insects and flowers; general sense of "thing of transitory existence" is first attested 1751. Cf. Greek ephemeroi "men," literally "creatures of a day."



1620s, from Greek (zoon) ephemeron, neuter of ephemeros (see ephemera). Figurative use by 1771.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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