Definition of ethereal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪˈθɪərɪəl/
(also etherial)


1Extremely delicate and light in a way that seems not to be of this world: her ethereal beauty
More example sentences
  • Her delicate features accentuated her ethereal beauty.
  • Her voice is light but never ethereal, grounded but never guttural.
  • She looked as divine as she always did this evening, her golden jewelry jingling and gleaming in the ethereal light, and her soft, thin white gown billowing about her.
delicate, exquisite, dainty, elegant, graceful, beautiful, lovely;
fragile, airy, gossamer, gossamery, light, fine, diaphanous, thin, tenuous, subtle, insubstantial, shadowy
1.1Heavenly or spiritual: ethereal, otherworldly visions
More example sentences
  • Or was it something more ethereal, more spiritual?
  • From time to time she would go completely limp, as her spirit slipped from her body into the ethereal plane, feeling the ebb and flow of the thought stream that had caught her attention.
  • As I was saying, everything spiritual - ghosts, demons, spirits and deities - inhabit the ethereal plane.
celestial, heavenly, spiritual, unearthly, other-worldly, paradisical, Elysian, sublime, divine, holy
rare empyrean, superlunary
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: /ɪθɪərɪˈalɪti/
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.


Pronunciation: /ɪˈθɪərɪəlʌɪz/
(also etherealise) verb
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.


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.

Words that rhyme with ethereal

arterial, bacterial, cereal, criterial, ferial, funereal, immaterial, imperial, magisterial, managerial, material, ministerial, presbyterial, serial, sidereal, venereal, biomaterial

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ether|eal

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