ethereal Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. adjective satellite characterized by lightness and insubstantiality; as impalpable or intangible as air
    airy; aeriform; aerial; aery.
    • figures light and aeriform come unlooked for and melt away"- Thomas Carlyle
    • aerial fancies
    • an airy apparition
    • physical rather than ethereal forms
  2. adjective of or containing or dissolved in ether
    • ethereal solution
  3. adjective satellite of heaven or the spirit
    celestial; supernal.
    • celestial peace
    • ethereal melodies
    • the supernal happiness of a quiet death
  4. adjective satellite characterized by unusual lightness and delicacy
    • this smallest and most ethereal of birds
    • gossamer shading through his playing


E*the"re*al adjective
  1. Pertaining to the hypothetical upper, purer air, or to the higher regions beyond the earth or beyond the atmosphere; celestial; as, ethereal space; ethereal regions.
    Go, heavenly guest, ethereal messenger. Milton.
  2. Consisting of ether; hence, exceedingly light or airy; tenuous; spiritlike; characterized by extreme delicacy, as form, manner, thought, etc.
    Vast chain of being, which from God began, Natures ethereal, human, angel, man. Pope.
  3. (Chem.) Pertaining to, derived from, or resembling, ether; as, ethereal salts.

Webster 1913