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From Old French sempiternel, from Medieval Latin sempiternālis, from Latin sempiternus, a contraction of semperæternus, from semper (always) + æternus (eternal).



sempiternal (not comparable)

  1. Everlasting, eternal.
    • 1841, R[alph] W[aldo] Emerson, “Essay X. Circles.”, in Essays, Boston, Mass.: James Munroe and Company, OCLC 3778020, page 265:
      The one thing which we seek with insatiable desire is to forget ourselves, to be surprised out of our propriety, to lose our sempiternal memory, and to do something without knowing how or why; in short, to draw a new circle. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
    • 1898, Thomas Hardy, “To Outer Nature”, in Wessex Poems and Other Verses, New York, N.Y.; London: Harper & Brothers, OCLC 5959488, stanza 6, page 151:
      Why not sempiternal / Thou and I? Our vernal / Brightness keeping, / Time outleaping: / Passed the hodiernal!
    • 2008 August 2, Shivangi Singh, “A sneak-peek at ‘just friends’ of filmdom!”, in Zee News[1]:
      [I]n filmdom, the sempiternal question continues: Can a male and female actor be just ‘good friends’?
  2. (philosophy) Everlasting, that is, having infinite temporal duration (as opposed to eternal: outside time and thus lacking temporal duration altogether).


Related terms[edit]