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ephemeral

[ih-fem-er-uh l] /ɪˈfɛm ər əl/
adjective
1.
lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory:
the ephemeral joys of childhood.
2.
lasting but one day:
an ephemeral flower.
noun
3.
anything short-lived, as certain insects.
Origin
1570-1580
1570-80; < Greek ephḗmer(os) short-lived, lasting but a day (ep- ep- + hēmér(a) day + -os adj. suffix) + -al1
Related forms
ephemerally, adverb
ephemeralness, noun
nonephemeral, adjective
nonephemerally, adverb
unephemeral, adjective
unephemerally, adverb
Synonyms
1. fleeting, evanescent, transient, momentary, brief.
Antonyms
1. permanent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ephemeral
  • I'm happy that the movie can give some pleasure to people, but acting is ephemeral.
  • It makes us appreciate the beauty in all that is ephemeral.
  • There can be no doubt that this experience is entirely abstract and ephemeral.
  • Adhering to a diet often proves a tough task with only ephemeral results.
  • Before we had the record, music was an entirely ephemeral art.
  • The question disappoints her because the matter is so ephemeral.
  • Markets are unstable because our emotions are ephemeral or at best unstable.
  • Serene and ephemeral as a little smiling sun.
  • It's an ephemeral concept, and it proves nothing.
  • Electricity is an ephemeral phenomenon.
British Dictionary definitions for ephemeral

ephemeral

/ɪˈfɛmərəl/
adjective
1.
lasting for only a short time; transitory; short-lived: ephemeral pleasure
noun
2.
a short-lived organism, such as the mayfly
3.
a plant that completes its life cycle in less than one year, usually less than six months
Derived Forms
ephemerally, adverb
ephemerality, ephemeralness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Greek ephēmeros lasting only a day, from hēmera day
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 ephemeral
adj.

1560s; see ephemera + -al (1). Related: Ephemerality. Originally of diseases and lifespans; extended sense of "transitory" is from 1630s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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