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definition of the word ether

by the Wiktionnary

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Rhymes: -iːθə(r)

From Latin æther (the upper pure, bright air) < Ancient Greek αἰθήρ (aithēr), upper air) < αἴθω (aithō), I burn, shine).


countable and uncountable; ethers

ether (countable and uncountable; plural ethers)

  1. (organic chemistry, countable) A compound containing an oxygen atom bonded to two hydrocarbon groups.
  2. (organic chemistry, uncountable) Diethyl ether (C4H10O), a compound used as an early anaesthetic.
  3. (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.
  4. (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).
  5. (poetic or literary) The sky or heavens; the upper air.

Definition from Wiktionary
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