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[ih-tur-ni-tee] /ɪˈtɜr nɪ ti/
noun, plural eternities.
infinite time; duration without beginning or end.
eternal existence, especially as contrasted with mortal life:
the eternity of God.
Theology. the timeless state into which the soul passes at a person's death.
an endless or seemingly endless period of time:
We had to wait an eternity for the check to arrive.
eternities, the truths or realities of life and thought that are regarded as timeless or eternal.
Origin of eternity
1325-75; Middle English eternite < Latin aeternitās. See eterne, -ity
Related forms
noneternity, noun
preeternity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for eternity
  • In ancient times, gold symbolized eternity and was thought to preserve the remains of the dead forever.
  • Some were preserved so that the deceased would have companionship in eternity.
  • But bear with it, and-bam-sudden vistas of meadows and fog-shrouded ocean stretch into eternity.
  • The director said he figured a priest wouldn't mind spending eternity in a casket used for such a charitable reason.
  • It is a life filled with time for matters of the spirit, when the mind turns to thoughts of eternity.
  • The movie has long since gone bad, and half an hour has dragged into an eternity.
  • But this is as illusory as any past empire imagining that it could cheat eternity.
  • We would be here discussing it for long past eternity and then some.
  • Unfortunately, in large doses, inhaling the gas is a one-way ticket to eternity.
  • The genome is their home, and they want nothing more than to persist for eternity.
British Dictionary definitions for eternity


noun (pl) -ties
endless or infinite time
the quality, state, or condition of being eternal
(usually pl) any of the aspects of life and thought that are considered to be timeless, esp timeless and true
(theol) the condition of timeless existence, believed by some to characterize the afterlife
a seemingly endless period of time: an eternity of waiting
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 eternity

late 14c., from Old French eternité (12c.), from Latin aeternitatem (nominative aeternitas), from aeternus (see eternal). In the Mercian hymns, Latin aeternum is glossed by Old English ecnisse.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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