au·re·ole (ôrē-ōl′) also au·re·o·la (ô-rēə-lə)
1. A circular or oval light surrounding the head or body of a representation of a deity or holy person; a halo.
2. Astronomy See corona.
[Middle English, from Late Latin (corōna) aureola, golden (crown), feminine of Latin aureolus, golden, from aureus, from aurum, gold.]
(click for a larger image)aureole
3rd-century Pakistani sculpture of the Bodhisattva Maitreya
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.