Definition of aureole in English:


(also aureola)


  • 1A circle of light or brightness surrounding something, especially as depicted in art around the head or body of a person represented as holy.

    ‘her hair framed her face in a golden aureole’
    • ‘She rubs pigment into engraved lines and allows this to produce a slick aureole around the image.’
    • ‘Einstein's wild hair is not the mad scientist's coiffure but a secular aureole, bespeaking his superhuman intelligence and wisdom.’
    • ‘Facing them, the rest of us could see little but shadowy faces, surrounded by bright aureoles.’
    • ‘The prominently depicted hen and rooster form the brightest spot in the foreground, as they are encircled by an aureole of light.’
    • ‘Many figures have wings, some possess an aureole around their heads and/or a very particular design of cap.’
    • ‘Auras are not to be confused with the aureoles or halos of saints, which are devices of Christian iconography used to depict the radiance of light associated with divine infusion.’
    • ‘Facing him was a spry elfin-faced girl with an aureole of blonde hair around her head and intent dark eyes.’
    1. 1.1 A corona around the sun or moon.
      • ‘Another vivid feature seen in an eclipse is the corona (or aureola).’
  • 2

    another term for areola
    • ‘Her breasts were small and firm, encircled by wide purple-brown aureoles.’
    • ‘Doing so can compromise blood flow to the nipple and lead to complications, such as necrosis of the skin along the incisions or nipple or aureole necrosis.’
  • 3Geology
    The zone of metamorphosed rock surrounding an igneous intrusion.

    • ‘There is abundant evidence for a significant and important influence of hydrothermal fluids on element mobility in the aureole.’
    • ‘This clearly has major implications for the thermal history of the aureole.’
    • ‘We also observe very fine rims of apparent new zircon of enigmatic origin at lower grade in the aureole.’
    • ‘Metamorphic aureoles around the granitic rocks are estimated to extend on the order of 1 km from the granitic rocks.’
    • ‘This is the widest metamorphic zone in the aureole.’
    • ‘A thermal metamorphic aureole is developed in the sedimentary country rocks.’
    • ‘These have a narrow metamorphic aureole in which andalusite is developed.’


Middle English: from Old French aureole, from Latin aureola (corona) ‘golden (crown)’, feminine of aureolus (diminutive of aureus, from aurum ‘gold’).