• From Middle English ēther ("the caelum aetherum of ancient cosmology in which the planets orbit; a shining, fluid substance described as a form of air or fire; air"), borrowed from Anglo-Norman ether and Middle French ether, ethere, aether, from Old French aether ("highest and purest part of the atmosphere; medium supposedly filling the upper regions of space") (modern French éther), or directly from its etymon Latin aethēr ("highest and purest part of the atmosphere; air; heavens, sky; light of day; ethereal matter surrounding a deity") (note also New Latin aethēr ("chemical compound analogous to diethyl ether")), from Ancient Greek αἰθήρ ("purer upper air of the atmosphere; heaven, sky; theoretical medium supposed to fill unoccupied space and transmit heat and light"), from αἴθω, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂eydʰ- ("to burn; fire").
  • The English word is cognate with Italian ether, ethera , etere, Middle Dutch ether (modern Dutch aether , ether), Middle High German ēther (modern German aether, ether , Äther), Portuguese éter, Spanish éter.
  • From “Ether” (2001), a song by the American hip hop recording artist Nas (born 1973). According to Nas, the song, a diss track aimed at fellow artist Jay-Z (born 1969), was thus named because he was once told that ghosts and spirits do not like the fumes from ether (noun, sense 5), and he viewed the song as affecting Jay-Z in a similar way. The song contains the lines “I fuck with your soul like ether” and “That ether, that shit that make your soul burn slow”.

Modern English dictionary

Explore and search massive catalog of over 900,000 word meanings.

Word of the Day

Get a curated memorable word every day.

Challenge yourself

Level up your vocabulary by setting personal goals.

And much more

Try out Vedaist now.