See also: æviternity





Learned borrowing from Latin aeviternus (eternal, perpetual) + English -ity (suffix forming nouns, especially abstract nouns), probably modelled after eternity.[1] Aeviternus is derived from aevum (infinite time; eternity, timelessness; undefined long period of time, age, era; generation, lifespan, lifetime; temporal mode of existence between time and eternity) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ey- (age; eternity; life, vital force)) + -rnus (suffix forming adjectives). Doublet of aevum and aye.





aeviternity (countable and uncountable, plural aeviternities)

  1. Synonym of eternity (existence without end)
    Synonym: everlastingness
    • 1651 (indicated as 1652), Joseph Hall, “[The Invisible World Discovered to Spiritual Eyes, and Reduced to Useful Meditation. [].] Section VIII. The Re-union of the Body to the Soul, both Glorified.”, in Josiah Pratt, editor, The Works of the Right Reverend Father in God, Joseph Hall, D.D. [], volume VI (Devotional Works), London: [] C[harles] Whittingham, []; for Williams and Smith, [], published 1808, →OCLC, 2nd book (Of the Souls of Men), page 484:
      There [in the new heaven] shall we, indissolubly, with all the choir of heaven pass our eviternity of bliss, in lauding and praising the incomprehensibly-glorious Majesty of our Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier; in perpetual Hallelujahs to him that sits upon the throne.
  2. (Scholastic philosophy) Synonym of aevum (the temporal mode of existence between time and eternity, said to be experienced by angels, saints, and celestial bodies (which medieval astronomy believed to be unchanging))
    • 1923, Thomas Aquinas, “Question X: The Eternity of God (in Six Articles)”, in fathers of the English Dominican Province [pseudonym; Laurence Shapcote], Daniel J. Sullivan, transl., The Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Great Books of the Western World), volume I, Chicago, Ill., London: William Benton; Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., →OCLC, page 44, column 2:
      Further, if there is no before and after in æviternity, it follows that in æviternal things there is no difference between being, having been, or going to be. Since then it is impossible for æviternal things not to have been, it follows that it is impossible for them not to be in the future, which is false, since God can reduce them to nothing.
    • 1994, Allan B. Wolter, “Duns Scotus, John (ca. 1266–1308)”, in edited by Samuel L. Macey, Encyclopedia of Time (Garland Reference Library of Social Science; 810), New York, N.Y., London: Garland Publishing, →ISBN, page 169, column 2:
      At the end of the world after the last judgment, time will cease and we will live like the angels in a state of aeviternity.
    • 2002, William [W.] Ferguson [III], chapter 16, in Jonah Christopher and the Last Chance Mass, Lincoln, Neb.: Writers Club Press, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 90:
      "Aeviternity," the old man said in a matter-of-fact way, shrugging his shoulders. "You were in aeviternity." Seeing Jonah's puzzled look and knowing that his charge was not one to rest without the answers he sought, he continued, “… the realm of the angels and saints. What most people mean when they say eternity is actually aeviternity. You see, eternity is unchanging, without beginning or end. Only God is truly eternal.

Alternative forms





  1. ^ aeviternity, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021; aeviternity, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.

Further reading