Definition of eternal in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈtərn(ə)l/


1Lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning: the secret of eternal youth fear of eternal damnation
More example sentences
  • Then the soul is sent either to heaven to enjoy the fruits of a decent life or condemned to eternal hell and damnation forever.
  • And what are the words to this spell that confers eternal youth and an infinite capacity for self-renewal?
  • The idea of an omniscient, eternal, and infinite being, for example, could not be like anything the senses encountered.
everlasting, never-ending, endless, perpetual, undying, immortal, abiding, permanent, enduring, infinite, boundless, timeless;
1.1(Of truths, values, or questions) valid for all time; essentially unchanging: eternal truths of art and life
More example sentences
  • The loss of objectivity leads us to question the existence of eternal or perennial truths.
  • We can sometimes forget in the modern era that some eternal truths remain unchanged; rugby is a game for hard men and hard-nosed men.
  • History was endlessly revised to make the present look like a confirmation of eternal, unchanging truths.
1.2 informal Seeming to last or persist forever, especially on account of being tedious or annoying: eternal nagging demands she is an eternal optimist
More example sentences
  • Or are Americans simply this world's eternal optimists?
  • I'm an eternal cautious optimist though, and I can't be what I'm not.
  • This is something you see very rarely in football and you would have to be the most eternal optimist to think 3-0 down was a platform for victory.
constant, continual, continuous, perpetual, persistent, sustained, unremitting, relentless, unrelieved, uninterrupted, unbroken, never-ending, nonstop, around/round-the-clock, endless, ceaseless
1.3Used to emphasize expressions of admiration, gratitude, or other feelings: to his eternal credit, he maintained his dignity throughout
More example sentences
  • I can't afford to pay anything, but you'll have my eternal gratitude and maybe I could knit you something.
  • I'm afraid that there wouldn't be anything in it for you other than maybe a few beers and my eternal gratitude, but I'm hoping someone will take pity on me.
  • Parents accept this is not the fault of the doctors or nurses, who inspire loyalty and eternal gratitude for the excellent treatment children receive.
1.4 (the Eternal) Used to refer to an everlasting or universal spirit, as represented by God.
Example sentences
  • According to Irenaeus he claimed to have appeared in Samaria as the Father, in Judea as the Son, and among the heathen as the Holy Ghost, a manifestation of the Eternal.
  • There is no god but He, the Living, the Eternal, Supporter of all.
  • The Eternal which resides in the atman should be known.



the Eternal City

A name for the city of Rome.

eternal triangle

A relationship between three people, typically a couple and the lover of one of them, involving sexual rivalry.
Example sentences
  • Clearly Hare's aim is to offer more than a few elegant variations on the eternal triangle.
  • The eternal triangle can endlessly renew itself, placing new people into the same deadly relationships.
  • It is a sort of a menage a trois, or another twist on the eternal triangle.



Pronunciation: /ˌētərˈnalitē/
Example sentences
  • Sweden's remarkable literary jury has for the second consecutive year held up a mirror to the values and politics of our times while honoring the eternality of great art.
  • Reflecting on the many attributes of God - his eternality, omniscience and omnipotence; his holiness and sinless purity; his love and mercy - should draw from us supreme praise and worship.
  • The covenant which God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob promised two things to their descendants: the eternality of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.


Pronunciation: /əˈtərn(ə)lˌīz/
Example sentences
  • Instead, love is immortalized and eternalized through death.
  • The cathedrals of the Middle Ages would never have been built if Christianity had asked itself why it had the right to claim exclusive truth for its faith by eternalizing it in stone.
  • Portraits of deceased relatives eternalized their image and memory and provided a way to ‘mitigate death's finality through art.’


Example sentences
  • Petrarch never attains the sense of eternalness essential for the construction of a stable self.
  • At a level that you don't even consciously understand, you understand the eternalness of your being.


Late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin aeternalis, from Latin aeternus, from aevum 'age'.

Words that rhyme with eternal

colonel, diurnal, external, fraternal, infernal, internal, journal, kernel, maternal, nocturnal, paternal, supernal, vernal

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: e·ter·nal

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