Definition of ethereal in English:


Line breaks: ether|eal
Pronunciation: /ɪˈθɪərɪəl
(also etherial)


  • 2 Chemistry (Of a solution) having diethyl ether as a solvent: sodium is dissolved in ethereal solutions of aromatic ketones
    More example sentences
    • Lipids were extracted according to the method of Bligh and Dyer, followed by methylation with ethereal diazomethane.
    • The dried samples were methylated with fresh ethereal diazomethane.
    • The aqueous phase was re-extracted with ether and the combined ethereal extracts washed with water until free from alkali.



Pronunciation: /-ˈalɪti/
More example sentences
  • The hypnotic ethereality of the opening image is suddenly broken as Ryan's alarmed mother unwraps the boy from the window curtain cocoon and scolds him with the combination of worry and fear that hounds mothers in this Glasgow ghetto.
  • Tebenikhin plays the two slow main themes in the first movement with the right mixture of regret and ethereality, and he renders the dark and profound development section as well as anyone ever has.
  • She was most admired for her lightness and ethereality as a dancer and of her many roles she was most closely associated with Giselle - many considered her reading of it to be definitive.


(also etherealise) verb
More example sentences
  • He tries hard to etherealize both the Zionist movement and the State of Israel.
  • As blossoms etherealize and sublimate their substances into scent, radiant color and wafting pollen, these substances become more spiritualized but also less alive.


More example sentences
  • In fact, Thomas is radiantly healthy and almost ethereally beautiful.
  • This book has an atmosphere so ethereally unsettling, it will haunt you for weeks.
  • It is, certainly, painfully lovely, achingly gorgeous, exasperatingly lyrical, sumptuously spellbinding, ethereally hypnotic, and, above all, transcendentally sublime.


early 16th century: via Latin from Greek aitherios (from aithēr 'ether') + -al.

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