1. Extremely light or delicate: "An ant lion ... is lovely, long-bodied like a damselfly, with a pair of ethereal wings" (Jennifer Ackerman).
a. Of the celestial spheres; heavenly.
b. Spiritual or otherworldly.
3. Chemistry Of or relating to ether.
[From Latin aetherius, from Greek aitherios, from aithēr, upper air.]
e·the′re·ali·ty (-ălĭ-tē), e·there·al·ness n.
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.