Definition of aerial in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɛːrɪəl/


1Existing, happening, or operating in the air: an aerial battle an intrepid aerial adventurer
More example sentences
  • One such area is operating and maintaining unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind.
  • The winners were especially to the fore in the aerial battles where they dominated a physically weaker Kerry outfit.
1.1Coming or carried out from the air, especially using aircraft: aerial bombardment of civilian targets aerial photography
More example sentences
  • It also explains the reliance on aerial bombardment of civilians.
  • The aircraft is also capable of carrying a range of aerial bombs with a total weight up to 40 tons.
  • I do not find the absence of aircraft from the 1986 aerial photograph to be evidence of abandonment.
1.2(Of a part of a plant) growing above ground: a huge banyan tree whose aerial roots hung back down to the ground
More example sentences
  • Simple trichomes are present on aerial surfaces of most angiosperms and on some gymnosperms and bryophytes.
  • Nicotine and tropane alkaloids are formed in the roots and transported to the aerial parts of the plant.
  • The harvested root and aerial parts of the plant are used.
1.3(Of a bird) spending much of its time in flight: the more aerial and terrestrial birds are less dependent on a strictly aquatic habitat
More example sentences
  • Analyses of the energetic costs of flight have identified optimal strategies for aerial bats, birds, and insects.
  • It also has a tiny beak with a large gape which help the bird catch its aerial prey.
  • Though bats and birds are both aerial creatures, records of their interaction have been extremely rare.
1.4Of or in the atmosphere; atmospheric.
Example sentences
  • There's some information there suggesting that there's no regulation of aerial spraying and that there's no policing.
  • Despite evidence of the carcinogenic properties of pesticides, aerial spraying remains widespread.
  • One man reported major fish kills in the wild after aerial sprayings of DDT.


1British A rod, wire, or other structure by which signals are transmitted or received as part of a radio or television transmission or receiving system.
Example sentences
  • Immediately below the vision aerial is the aerial for the accompanying sound transmissions.
  • The boot opens by remote control, and the radio aerial is cleverly hidden in the rear spoiler.
  • The driver had found a handkerchief and tied it round the radio aerial as a makeshift white flag.
2 (aerials) A type of freestyle skiing in which the skier jumps from a ramp and carries out manoeuvres in the air.
Example sentences
  • I want aerials, spread eagles, toe touches, and anything else you can think of.
  • Now, I want everyone to get into formation behind me and we're going to practice synchronized aerials!
  • You boys aren't gonna be able to do those aerials in there, are you?



Pronunciation: /ɛːrɪˈalɪti/
Example sentences
  • These are the five factors constituting the principles of experience: solidity, liquidity, formativity, aeriality and vacuity.
  • The spread of the conical roof above the wide cylinder gives to the structure a buoyant lift and a light winged aeriality.
  • One might distinguish two modalities of the aerial and the light: a transcendence that directs its celestial activity; and an aeriality that accepts a world without height or base.


Example sentences
  • While aerially displaying, males uttered 7-10 single-note calls.
  • Katalin led the way; she'd been here before, at least aerially.
  • They are sprayed aerially on corn leaves where the beetles eat.


Late 16th century (in the sense 'thin as air, imaginary'): via Latin aerius from Greek aerios (from aēr 'air') + -al.

  • air from Middle English:

    1 The main modern sense of air, ‘the invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth’ entered English via Old French and Latin from Greek aēr. Aerial (late 16th century), meaning ‘a rod or wire by which signals are transmitted or received’ and ‘existing or happening in the air’, comes from the same source, along with the Italian word aria (early 18th century). Aerobic (late 19th century) is from aēr combined with Greek bios ‘live’.

    2 The senses of air ‘an impression or manner’ and ‘a condescending manner’ (as in she gave herself airs) are probably from a completely different word, Old French aire ‘site, disposition’, which derives from Latin ager ‘field’, the root of English words such as agriculture (Late Middle English). Airy-fairy (mid 19th century) ‘impractical and foolishly idealistic’, was originally used to mean ‘delicate or light as a fairy’. The English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892), in his poem ‘Lilian’ (1830), described the subject as ‘Airy, fairy Lilian, Flitting, fairy Lilian’. See also gas

Words that rhyme with aerial

actuarial, adversarial, areal, bursarial, commissarial, filarial, malarial, notarial, secretarial, vicarial

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: aer¦ial

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