Definition of empyrean in English:


Pronunciation /ɛmˈpɪrɪən//ˌɛmpɪˈriːən//ˌɛmpʌɪˈriːən/


  • Relating to heaven or the sky.

    ‘the empyrean domain where human will and God's will became as one’
    figurative ‘the empyrean heights of the imagination’
    • ‘Yet according to Mormon doctrine, families are awarded with empyreal togetherness only if every member ‘behaves.’’
    • ‘Not only did the band's name prefigure the attacks, but so did the album's elegiac art work of angels tracing empyrean paths to a fiery orange heaven.’
    • ‘Within that empyreal realm, the new Senior Vice Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development will occupy a ‘singular and permanent position,’ dictates the task force.’
    • ‘To emulate a human realistically, you don't have to realistically capture the empyrean majesty of our imaginations.’
    • ‘Behind him, he knew, the empyreal capital endured, the snowy grounds around it merely accentuating its transcendental, yet solitary, existence.’
    • ‘In America, or the more empyrean realm of art, few citizens were more senior than Al, none more youthful, cogent, articulate or productive.’
    • ‘But, not a drop of empyrean manna falls on my parched lips to assuage the thirst of aeons.’
    • ‘Electronics and haunting effects bring an empyrean stillness to the album's middle third.’
    divine, holy, celestial, godlike, godly, angelic, seraphic, cherubic, blessed, blest, beatific, immortal
    heavenly, celestial, ethereal
    View synonyms


the empyrean
  • 1The highest part of heaven, thought by the ancients to be the realm of pure fire.

    ‘the unapproachable splendour of the empyrean’
    • ‘Someday it may even be possible for the soul of a skeptical scientist to orbit into the empyrean, carrying his karma with him, looking for a suitable body to be born into!’
    • ‘She genuinely, and far less self-interestedly than most, wanted to help propel young talent to the empyrean.’
    • ‘The Pro Arte Quartet (plus cellist Anthony Pini) contributes a C-major Quintet whose first two movements ensure the work's place in the empyrean.’
    • ‘Mark Antony well knew the mischief he aimed at, and sensed that his and Octavius's moment had come; all they needed to do was to mount Caesar's ghost and they would ride to the empyrean.’
    heaven, the heavens, the sky, the upper regions, the upper atmosphere, the stratosphere
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1literary The visible heavens; the sky.
      ‘we rose through the polluted air into the clear empyrean above’
      • ‘But the empyrean vault is little less crowded than before.’
      heaven, the heavens, the sky, the upper regions, the upper atmosphere, the stratosphere
      View synonyms


Late Middle English (as an adjective): via medieval Latin from Greek empurios, from en- ‘in’ + pur ‘fire’. The noun dates from the mid 17th century.