Ether definition

ēthər
The element believed in ancient and medieval civilizations to fill all space above the sphere of the moon and to compose the stars and planets.
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(rare) The air.
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(physics) An all-pervading, infinitely elastic, massless medium formerly postulated as the medium of propagation of electromagnetic waves.
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The regions of space beyond the earth's atmosphere; the heavens.
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The upper regions of space; clear sky.
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(physics) A hypothetical diffuse, invisible medium formerly thought to pervade space and transmit light, heat, etc.
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(ancient philosophy and alchemy, uncountable) A classical physical element, considered as prevalent in the heavens and inaccessible to humans. In some versions of alchemy, this was the fifth element in addition to air, earth, fire and water.
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(poetic or literary) The sky or heavens; the upper air.
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Ether is defined as a clear, flammable liquid used as an aesthetic, or the upper sky beyond the clouds.

A clear liquid used as anesthetic is an example of ether.

When a balloon floats up high into the sky and disappears beyond the clouds, this is an example of a situation where it disappears into the ether.

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Any of a class of organic compounds in which two hydrocarbon groups are linked by an oxygen atom.
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A volatile, highly flammable liquid, C4 H10 O, derived from distilling ethyl alcohol with sulfuric acid, used as a reagent and solvent, and formerly used as an anesthetic.
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A substance hypothesized by the ancients as filling all space beyond the sphere of the moon, and making up the stars and planets.
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(chem.) Any of a series of organic compounds having an oxygen atom linking two carbon atoms from two hydrocarbon radicals, generally ROR1; esp., ethyl ether, a volatile, colorless, highly flammable liquid, H5C2OC2H5, prepared by the reaction of sulfuric acid and ethyl alcohol and used as an anesthetic and a solvent for resins and fats.
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Any of a class of organic compounds in which two hydrocarbon groups are linked by an oxygen atom.
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An organic compound in which two hydrocarbon groups are linked by an oxygen atom, having the general structure ROR&STRESS;, where R and R&STRESS; are the two hydrocarbon groups. At room temperature, ethers are pleasant-smelling liquids resembling alcohols but less dense and less soluble in water. Ethers are part of many naturally occurring organic compounds, such as starches and sugars, and are widely used in industry and in making pharmaceuticals.
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(1) The cryptocurrency in the Ethereum system. See Ethereum.
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Luminiferous ether. The omnipresent passive medium once thought to pervade all space and to support the propagation of electromagnetic energy, even through a vacuum.The existence of the ether was disproved around 1900 by a number of scientists, including Albert Einstein, Albert A. Michaelson, and Edward W. Morley. In 1973, Robert Metcalfe chose the name Ethernet to describe the local area network (LAN) technology he and his associates invented at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC). See also Ethernet; LAN; Metcalfe, Robert M.; and Xerox PARC.
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(organic chemistry, countable) A compound containing an oxygen atom bonded to two hydrocarbon groups.
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A volatile, highly flammable liquid, C4 H10 O, derived from distilling ethyl alcohol with sulfuric acid, used as a reagent and solvent, and formerly used as an anesthetic.
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A colorless, flammable liquid used as a solvent and formerly used as an anesthetic. Ether consists of two ethyl groups joined by an oxygen atom. Also called diethyl ether, ethyl ether. Chemical formula: C4H10O.
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A hypothetical medium formerly believed to permeate all space, and through which light and other electromagnetic radiation were thought to move. The existence of ether was disproved by the American physicists Albert Michelson and Edward Morley in 1887.
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(organic chemistry, uncountable) Diethyl ether (C4H10O), a compound used as an early anaesthetic.
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(archaic, physics, uncountable) A substance (aether) once thought to fill all space that allowed electromagnetic waves to pass through it and interact with matter, without exerting any resistance to matter or energy (disproved by Einstein in his Theory of Relativity).
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(Roman mythology) The god/personification of the bright, glowing upper air of heaven. He is the Roman counterpart of Aether.
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(Mormonism) The ancient American prophet of Mormon theology who wrote the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
ether
Plural:
ethers

Origin of ether

  • Middle English upper air from Latin aethēr from Greek aithēr

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French ether, from Latin aether (“the upper pure, bright air”), from Ancient Greek αἰθήρ (aithēr, “upper air”), from αἴθω (aithō, “I burn, shine”).

    From Wiktionary