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Jul 20, 2017
This week’s theme
Random words

This week’s words
retral
lateritious
coadjutant
empyrean
niveous

Divine Comedy's Empyrean
The Divine Comedy’s Empyrean
Illustration: Gustave Doré, 1892

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

empyrean

PRONUNCIATION:
(em-PIR-ee-uhn, -pye-REE-)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Relating to the highest heaven, believed to contain pure light or fire.
2. Relating to the sky; celestial.
3. Sublime; elevated.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin empyreus, from Greek empyrios (fiery), from pur (fire). Other words derived from the same root are fire, pyre, pyrosis (heartburn), and pyromania (an irresistible impulse to set things on fire). Earliest documented use: 1500. A synonym of the word is empyreal.

NOTES:
This is where the idiom “to be in seventh heaven” (a state of great bliss) comes from. In many beliefs, heavens are a system of concentric spheres, the seventh heaven being the highest and a place of pure bliss.

USAGE:
“Schubert’s sprawling Ninth Symphony is an empyrean masterpiece.”
Robert Battey; NSO Shaky Ahead of Russia Concerts; The Washington Post; Mar 10, 2017.

See more usage examples of empyrean in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace. -Carlos Santana, musician (b. 20 Jul 1947)

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