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seraph

[ser-uh f] /ˈsɛr əf/
noun, plural seraphs, seraphim
[ser-uh-fim] /ˈsɛr ə fɪm/ (Show IPA)
1.
one of the celestial beings hovering above God's throne in Isaiah's vision. Isa. 6.
2.
a member of the highest order of angels, often represented as a child's head with wings above, below, and on each side.
Origin
1660-1670
1660-70; back formation from seraphim
Related forms
seraphlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for seraph

seraph

/ˈsɛrəf/
noun (pl) -aphs, -aphim (-əfɪm)
1.
(theol) a member of the highest order of angels in the celestial hierarchies, often depicted as the winged head of a child
2.
(Old Testament) one of the fiery six-winged beings attendant upon Jehovah in Isaiah's vision (Isaiah 6)
Word Origin
C17: back formation from plural seraphim, via Late Latin from Hebrew
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 seraph
n.

1667, first used by Milton (probably on analogy of cherub/cherubim), back-formed singular from Old English seraphim (plural), from Late Latin seraphim, from Greek seraphim, from Hebrew seraphim (only in Isa. vi), plural of *saraph (which does not occur in the Bible), probably literally "the burning one," from saraph "it burned." Seraphs were traditionally regarded as burning or flaming angels, though the word seems to have some etymological sense of "flying," perhaps from confusion with the root of Arabic sharafa "be lofty." Some scholars identify it with a word found in other passages interpreted as "fiery flying serpent."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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