Definition of ether noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈiːθə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈiːθər//
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  1. 1 a clear liquid made from alcohol, used in industry as a solvent and, in the past, in medicine to make people unconscious before an operation
  2. 2the ether (old use or literary) the upper part of the sky Her words disappeared into the ether.
  3. 3the ether the air, when it is thought of as the place in which radio or electronic communication takes place
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: from Old French, or via Latin from Greek aithēr ‘upper air’, from the base of aithein ‘burn, shine’. Originally the word denoted a substance believed to occupy space beyond the sphere of the moon. Sense (1) arose in the mid 18th cent.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ether