English edit

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An aerial shot of the Croatian town Motovun

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Latin āerius +‎ -al, from Ancient Greek ἀέριος (aérios), from ἀήρ (aḗr, air).

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

aerial (comparative more aerial, superlative most aerial)

  1. Living or taking place in the air. [from 16th c.]
    The seabirds put on an astonishing aerial display.
  2. (now literary or historical) Made up of air or gas; gaseous. [from 16th c.]
    • 1782, Joseph Priestley, Disquisitions relating to matter and spirit, section I:
      A soul [...] was first conceived to be an aerial, or an igneous substance, which animates the body during life, and makes its escape at death [...].
  3. Positioned high up; elevated. [from 16th c.]
    The aerial photographs clearly showed the damage caused by the storm.
  4. Ethereal, insubstantial; imaginary. [from 16th c.]
    • 1714, Bernard Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees:
      the great Recompence in view, for which the most exalted Minds have with so much Alacrity, sacrifis'd their Quiet, Health, sensual Pleasures, and every inch of themselves, has never been any thing else but the Breath of Man, the Aerial Coyn of Praise.
  5. Pertaining to the air or atmosphere; atmospheric. [from 17th c.]
  6. (aviation) Pertaining to a vehicle which travels through the air; airborne; relating to or conducted by means of aircraft. [from 17th c.]
    • 2013 June 7, Ed Pilkington, “‘Killer robots’ should be banned in advance, UN told”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 26, page 6:
      In his submission to the UN, [Christof] Heyns points to the experience of drones. Unmanned aerial vehicles were intended initially only for surveillance, and their use for offensive purposes was prohibited, yet once strategists realised their perceived advantages as a means of carrying out targeted killings, all objections were swept out of the way.
  7. (botany) Above the ground

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Noun edit

aerial (plural aerials)

  1. (chiefly UK) A rod, wire, or other structure for receiving or transmitting radio, television signals etc.
  2. A move, as in dancing or skateboarding, involving one or both feet leaving the ground.
    • 2002, Joseph A. Kotarba, John M. Johnson, Postmodern Existential Sociology, page 78:
      In their dancing, clubbers were flamboyant. They experimented with new dance steps and improvisations, including risky maneuvers and aerials in which women were flipped into the air.
  3. (photography) An aerial photograph.
    • 2010, Jean Hartley, Africa's Big Five and Other Wildlife Filmmakers:
      Hemment is on record as being the first person to film aerials of wildlife – he filmed a flock of wild ducks early in 1911, possibly on Rainey's Louisiana property.

Usage notes edit

Some make a distinction between an antenna and an aerial, with the former used to indicate a rigid structure, and the latter consisting of a wire strung in the air. For those who do not make a distinction, antenna is more commonly used in the United States and Australia, while aerial is more commonly used in the United Kingdom.

Synonyms edit

  • (device for receiving or transmitting): antenna
  • (dance move involving one or both feet leaving the ground): air step, acrobatic

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Anagrams edit