seraph

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English[edit]

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A painting of God and two seraphim from the 14th century.

Etymology[edit]

Back-formation of singular form from plural seraphim, from Latin seraphim, from Hebrew שרפים(serafim), plural form of שרף(saraf). The plural "seraphims" occurs in the King James Bible (Isaiah chapter 6).

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the singular "seraph" may have originated with John Milton who used it in Book I of Paradise Lost (1667).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

seraph (plural seraphs or seraphim or seraphims)

  1. (biblical) A six-winged angel; the highest choir or order of angels in Christian angelology, ranked above cherubim, and below God. They are the 5th highest order of angels in Jewish angelology. A detailed description can be found at the beginning of Isaiah chapter 6

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