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Definition of "ether" []

  • Any of a class of organic compounds in which two hydrocarbon groups are linked by an oxygen atom. (noun)
  • A volatile, highly flammable liquid, C2H5OC2H5, derived from the distillation of ethyl alcohol with sulfuric acid and used as a reagent and solvent. It was formerly used as an anesthetic. Also called diethyl ether, ethyl ether. (noun)
  • The regions of space beyond the earth's atmosphere; the heavens. (noun)
  • 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. (noun)
  • Physics An all-pervading, infinitely elastic, massless medium formerly postulated as the medium of propagation of electromagnetic waves. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "ether" in a sentence
  • "Eventually, the digital social network will become such a normal part of our lives that having a profile in the ether is as common and expected as phone numbers in the phone book used to be (in fact, people in their teens and 20s are already more likely to look for a Web profile than even consider looking in a giant paper phone-book)."
  • "This led to the conception of an imponderable agency capable of certain movements, and to denote this agency the Greek word ether was borrowed."
  • "In this experiment I suppose the tourmalin to be naturally combined with resinous electric ether like glass; which on one side next towards the fire by the increase of its attractive power, owing to the heat having loosened its combination with the earth of the stone, more strongly attracts vitreous electric ether from the atmosphere; which now stands on its surface: and then as the lower surface of the stone lies in contact with the hearth, the less quantity of vitreous ether is there repelled by the greater quantity of it on the upper surface; while the resinous ether is attracted by it: and the stone is thus charged like a coated jar with vitreous electric ether condensed on one side of it, and resinous on the other."