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ethereal

[ih-theer-ee-uh l] /ɪˈθɪər i əl/
adjective
1.
light, airy, or tenuous:
an ethereal world created through the poetic imagination.
2.
extremely delicate or refined:
ethereal beauty.
3.
heavenly or celestial:
gone to his ethereal home.
4.
of or relating to the upper regions of space.
5.
Chemistry. pertaining to, containing, or resembling ethyl ether.
Also, aethereal (for defs 1–4).
Origin
1505-1515
1505-15; < Latin aethere(us) (< Greek aithérios), equivalent to aether- ether + -eus adj. suffix + -al1
Related forms
ethereality, etherealness, noun
ethereally, adverb
ethereous, adjective
nonethereal, adjective
nonethereally, adverb
nonetherealness, noun
nonethereality, noun
unethereal, adjective
unethereally, adverb
unetherealness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for ethereal
  • But the phenomenon is anything but ethereal.
  • Margaret was small, fair and ethereal.
  • Others find it angelic, heavenly, ethereal.
  • Mozart's wit was not always ethereal.
  • The setting sun sheds an ethereal light on the scene of temples, pavilions, and terraces.
  • Hill remains an ethereal presence, heard but rarely seen.
  • The ethereal city of water and stone rises like a dream from the waters of the lagoon.
  • Check out the ethereal glow the phone emits.
  • His works are also rather ethereal in a way.
  • He produced some majestic and ethereal imagery.
British Dictionary definitions for ethereal

ethereal

/ɪˈθɪərɪəl/
adjective
1.
extremely delicate or refined; exquisite
2.
almost as light as air; impalpable; airy
3.
celestial or spiritual
4.
of, containing, or dissolved in an ether, esp diethyl ether: an ethereal solution
5.
of or relating to the ether
Derived Forms
ethereality, etherealness, noun
ethereally, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin aethereus, from Greek aitherios, from aithērether
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 ethereal
adj.

1510s, "of the highest regions of the atmosphere," from ether + -al (1); extended sense of "light, airy" is from 1590s. Meaning "spiritlike, immaterial" is from 1640s. Related: Ethereally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ethereal in Medicine

ethereal e·the·re·al (ĭ-thēr'ē-əl)
adj.

  1. Characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; intangible.

  2. Of, relating to, or containing ether.


e·the're·al'i·ty (-āl'ĭ-tē) or e·the're·al·ness n.
e·the're·al·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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