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Webster 1913 Edition


Ephemeral

E-phem′er-al

,
Adj.
1.
Beginning and ending in a day; existing only, or no longer than, a day; diurnal;
as, an
ephemeral
flower
.
2.
Short-lived; existing or continuing for a short time only.
Ephemeral popularity.”
V. Knox.
Sentences not of
ephemeral
, but of eternal, efficacy.
Sir J. Stephen.
Ephemeral fly
(Zoöl.)
,
one of a group of neuropterous insects, belonging to the genus
Ephemera
and many allied genera, which live in the adult or winged state only for a short time. The larvæ are aquatic; – called also
day fly
and
May fly
.

E-phem′er-al

,
Noun.
Anything lasting but a day, or a brief time; an ephemeral plant, insect, etc.

Definition 2022


ephemeral

ephemeral

English

Noun

ephemeral (plural ephemerals)

  1. Something which lasts for a short period of time.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Adjective

ephemeral (comparative more ephemeral, superlative most ephemeral)

  1. Lasting for a short period of time.
    • Vicesimus Knox
      Esteem, lasting esteem, the esteem of good men, like himself, will be his reward, when the gale of ephemeral popularity shall have gradually subsided.
    • Sir J. Stephen
      sentences not of ephemeral, but of eternal, efficacy
    • 1818, Mary Shelley, chapter 9, in Frankenstein:
      It was during an access of this kind that I suddenly left my home, and bending my steps towards the near Alpine valleys, sought in the magnificence, the eternity of such scenes, to forget myself and my ephemeral, because human, sorrows.
  2. (biology) Existing for only one day, as with some flowers, insects, and diseases.
  3. (geology, of a body of water) Usually dry, but filling with water for brief periods during and after precipitation.
    • 1986, W.H. Raymond, "Clinoptilolite Deposit in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, U.S.A.", in Yūichi Murakami et al. (editors), New Developments in Zeolite Science and Technology (conference proceedings), Elsevier, ISBN 978-0-444-98981-9, page 80:
      The graben constitutes a depositional basin and a topographic low, underlain by Cretaceous shales, in which volcanic debris accumulated in ephemeral lakes and streams in Oligocene and early Miocene time.

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External links

  • ephemeral in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • ephemeral in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911