Definition of ephemeral in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪˈfɛm(ə)r(ə)l/
Pronunciation: /ɪˈfiːm(ə)r(ə)l/


1Lasting for a very short time: fashions are ephemeral: new ones regularly drive out the old works of more than ephemeral interest
More example sentences
  • The pictures reflect an interest in the ephemeral, impermanent, transient nature of the world.
  • It is in this room that fleeting, ephemeral moments in time are transformed into lasting eternal pieces of art.
  • The writer aims to take those fleeting, ephemeral, sensual moments and transform them into something rich, coherent and meaningful.
transitory, transient, fleeting, passing, short-lived, momentary, brief, short, cursory, temporary, impermanent, short-term;
fading, evanescent, fugitive, fly-by-night
literary fugacious
1.1(Chiefly of plants) having a very short life cycle: chickweed is an ephemeral weed, producing several generations in one season
More example sentences
  • Bulbs have a very different life strategy from ephemeral weeds.
  • In northern Utah, Osmia lignaria propinqua emerge beginning in late April, coincident with the flowering of spring ephemeral herbs and shrubs.
  • This correlation is well established for ephemeral species.


An ephemeral plant: ephemerals avoid the periods of drought as seeds
More example sentences
  • However, the spring ephemerals and plants that flower during the spring are often difficult to identify when flowers are not present, and cannot reliably be identified late in the growing season.
  • Wildflowers that grow beneath the canopy include so-called spring ephemerals - plants that usually come up in early April, bloom no later than the end of May, set seeds in May or June, and disappear by July.
  • Seasonal changes in understory species from spring ephemerals to evergreen herbs are discussed in a number of contexts throughout the book.



Pronunciation: /ɪfɛm(ə)ˈralɪti/
Pronunciation: /ɪfiːm(ə)ˈralɪti/
Example sentences
  • There are many passages in which Woolf seems concerned to indicate the simultaneous stasis and ephemerality of the moment through a concentrated documentation of sounds and overheard voices.
  • He has crafted a plot based on the principle of ephemerality, of transience, of allowing a dream to exist only to have it withdrawn.
  • The technological ephemerality of this medium means that we will not have the luxury of stumbling across these intimate mementoes in 100 years' time.


Example sentences
  • These people have indeed wrestled the zeitgeist, but their code, for the most part, is not fundamental: it is ephemerally contemporary.
  • None of this will matter once everything is digitized and it's all ephemerally available on demand for some micropayment.
  • Occasionally, it's very good, but a lot of it, like this, is banal in concept, timid in presentation and ephemerally unmemorable.


Late 16th century: from Greek ephēmeros (see ephemera) + -al.

Words that rhyme with ephemeral


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ephem|eral

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