Puzzler's Corner

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 1, 2016 is:

empyreal • \em-pye-REE-ul\  • adjective

1 : of or relating to the heavens or firmament : celestial

2 : sublime


Night after night, the comet shone brightly against the empyreal tapestry of the sky.

"A jar made in Iraq, Syria or Iran, its shape is nothing special, but its color—an empyreal sapphire blue, a version of which will later adorn the domes of Safavid mosques—is out of this world." — Holland Cotter, The New York Times, 24 Dec. 2004

Did you know?

Empyreal can be traced back to the Greek word for "fiery," empyros, which was formed from the prefix em- ("in," "within," or "inside") and -pyros, from pyr, the Greek word for "fire." When empyreal entered the English language—via the Late Latin empyreus or empyrius—in the 15th century, it specifically referred to things related to the empyrean, the highest heaven or outermost heavenly sphere of ancient and medieval cosmology, which was often thought to contain or be composed of the element of fire. In the works of Christian writers—such as Dante's Divine Comedy and John Milton's Paradise Lost—this outermost heavenly sphere was associated with the Christian paradise. Empyreal is now also used more broadly in the senses of "celestial" and "sublime."

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