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Alternative forms[edit]


From Latin aetherius (of or pertaining to the ether, the sky, or the air or upper air; ethereal), from Ancient Greek αἰθέριος (aithérios, of or pertaining to the upper air; ethereal).



ethereal (comparative more ethereal, superlative most ethereal)

  1. Pertaining to the hypothetical upper, purer air, or to the higher regions beyond the earth or beyond the atmosphere; celestial; otherworldly.
    ethereal space ethereal regions
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VII”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 1282–1284:
      Since to part, / Go heavenly Gueſt, Ethereal Meſſenger, / Sent from whoſe ſovran goodneſs I adore.
    • 1862: Thoreau, Walking.
      I trust that we shall be more imaginative, that our thoughts will be clearer, fresher, and more ethereal, as our sky,...
  2. Consisting of ether; hence, exceedingly light or airy; tenuous; spiritlike; characterized by extreme delicacy, as form, manner, thought, etc.
  3. Delicate, light and airy.
  4. (chemistry) To do with ether.


Derived terms[edit]