Definition of aura in US English:



  • 1The distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing, or place.

    ‘the ceremony retains an aura of mystery’
    • ‘The scene was spectacular: spotlights in the grass cast a fine play of light and shadow, creating an aura of ancient grandeur and mystery.’
    • ‘There was an aura of pride surrounding him, a glow that made him look happy and that ended up making me feel a little better too.’
    • ‘Though an aura of uncertainty hung over the anniversary.’
    • ‘An aura of wisdom surrounded her but she looked so young she could have passed as one of Serena's classmates.’
    • ‘Psychiatric classifications have an aura of scientific certitude about them that is not really justified.’
    • ‘An aura of mystery surrounded her, but it felt like she was letting me in.’
    • ‘I still sense an aura of coldness, but I guess that's something I'll have to approach practically next time.’
    • ‘The meditative mood and ethereal atmosphere of the painting create an aura of intimacy that counters the epic scale of its composition.’
    • ‘But, generally, the right uniform confers an aura of authority and legitimacy on even the most questionable of occupations.’
    • ‘What he transmits far more effectively than most designers, including other famous colleagues, is an aura of power.’
    • ‘Historical sites of revolutions are often imbued with an aura of romantic mystique.’
    • ‘Even now, there is an aura of otherworldliness about him.’
    • ‘All the furniture in the coffeehouse is of the 1930s style, the dark wood and rare ornaments creating an aura of mystery and peace.’
    • ‘Fans of the artist say his unique color perception translates into images that shimmer with texture, richness of color and an aura of mystique.’
    • ‘There was something intriguing about this man; an aura of happiness surrounded him and affected the air he breathed.’
    • ‘Television has played no small part in the creation of an aura of respectability around supernatural mumbo jumbo, whether it be presented as new age or old school.’
    • ‘Much of Mumbai is polluted, overcrowded and frenetic, yet the city has an aura of magic and irrepressible hope.’
    • ‘In his hand was a long, crimson staff, and an aura of magical strength surrounded him.’
    • ‘It gives an aura of maturity and authority too, adds another group.’
    atmosphere, air, quality, aspect, character, ambience, mood, spirit, feeling, feel, flavour, colouring, colour, complexion, climate, tone, overtone, undertone, tenor, impression, suggestion, emanation
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  • 2(in spiritualism and some forms of alternative medicine) a supposed emanation surrounding the body of a living creature and regarded as an essential part of the individual.

    ‘emotional, mental, and spiritual levels form an energy field around the body known as the aura’
    ‘muddy colours in the aura indicate negative emotions’
    • ‘I don't believe in the concept of auras, but if I did I would say he was definitely giving off an aura of pure evil.’
    • ‘It is a ‘hands off’ healing modality that teaches people how to scan the aura or the energy field that surrounds the physical body.’
    • ‘Barbara claims she can do astral healing: psychic surgery on your aura.’
    • ‘She claims her special gift is the ability to see people's auras.’
    • ‘‘The ability of some people to see the colored auras of others has held an important place in folklore and mysticism throughout the ages,’ said Ward.’
    • ‘Miri sat calmly at the table, surrounded by an aura of soft green.’
    • ‘Negative energy that is part of your aura attracts more negative energy.’
    • ‘I sat there, meditating on bringing my aura closer to my body, and therefore making it less’
    • ‘It will include exhibitions of the supernatural, including a display of Kirlean Photography, a system which, it is claimed, shows the body's psychic auras in colour.’
    • ‘The man on the ground had only a faint aura since he was no longer conscious.’
    • ‘The woman grinned and began to chant, an aura surrounding her body.’
    • ‘Her latest book, Light Body, an intense study of the human aura, spiritual energy and the awakening of the human soul will be published in September.’
    • ‘Although one of them is stronger, and the other's aura faint.’
    • ‘She hadn't been able to sleep all night, because when she closed her eyes, all she could see were the spirits and auras surrounding her.’
    • ‘He also believes in auras and has indicated that he believes that some of his ex-wife's gynecological problems may have been due to aliens.’
    • ‘She started by telling me how she could see my aura was full of negative energy and that she could rid me of it.’
    • ‘The last thing he remembered was the blue aura surrounding his body and a blinding light.’
    • ‘In Celtic Spiritual tradition, it is believed that the soul radiates all about the physical body, what some refer to as an aura.’
    • ‘Around their bodies shimmered auras of living energy.’
    • ‘Her hands then began to glow, surrounded by an aura of white light.’
    1. 2.1 Any invisible emanation, especially an odour.
      ‘there was a faint aura of disinfectant’
      • ‘The power and aroma of their particular auras bombarded me and I felt disgusted with the stench of them.’
      • ‘I recognized the stench, the aura that hung in the air; thick and palpable… a portent of imminent death.’
      • ‘Two showers and 24 hours later, I still fancied that I carried the aura of charred flesh with me shopping, to my sons' nursery school, around my own home.’
      • ‘But still there was a warm aura about her that brought the faintest of smiles to his face.’
  • 3Medicine
    A warning sensation experienced before an attack of epilepsy or migraine.

    • ‘The aura is a symptom that usually occurs before the onset of the pain itself.’
    • ‘Nervous system symptoms - called an aura - develop before the migraine symptoms.’
    • ‘In most cases there is no aura stage; the attack starts with the headache.’
    • ‘Sometimes there is a warning of the attack called an aura perhaps an unpleasant odor or spots before the eyes.’
    • ‘Migraine with or without aura is the most common form of acute-recurrent headache in children.’
    • ‘One such experience taught me the nature of my migraine aura.’
    • ‘Bryan Kies mentioned the auras that some epileptics experience just prior to a seizure.’
    • ‘Like his mum - and her mother before her - Tom suffers from aura migraines.’
    • ‘The results were true only for people with migraine accompanied by an aura, or a warning sensation that occurs before the headache begins.’
    • ‘Many women experience an aura, which signals an impending hot flash immediately prior to its onset.’
    • ‘These agents may be particularly effective in the patient who has prolonged or atypical migraine aura.’
    • ‘No evidence supports their use during the aura phase of an attack.’
    • ‘It is important to note that most patients with migraine do not have an associated aura.’


Late Middle English (originally denoting a gentle breeze): via Latin from Greek, ‘breeze, breath’. Current senses date from the 18th century.