Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A typically benevolent celestial being that acts as an intermediary between heaven and earth, especially in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism.
  • n. A representation of such a being, especially in Christianity, conventionally in the image of a human figure with a halo and wings.
  • n. Christianity The last of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology. From the highest to the lowest in rank, the orders are: seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations or dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels.
  • n. A guardian spirit or guiding influence.
  • n. A kind and lovable person.
  • n. One who manifests goodness, purity, and selflessness.
  • n. Informal A financial backer of an enterprise, especially a dramatic production or a political campaign.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A divine and supernatural messenger from a deity, or other divine entity.
  • n. The lowest order of angels, below virtues.
  • n. A selfless person.
  • n. An altitude, measured in thousands of feet.
  • n. An affluent individual who provides capital for a startup, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.
  • v. To support by donating money.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A messenger.
  • n. A spiritual, celestial being, superior to man in power and intelligence. In the Scriptures the angels appear as God's messengers.
  • n. One of a class of “fallen angels;” an evil spirit.
  • n. A minister or pastor of a church, as in the Seven Asiatic churches.
  • n. Attendant spirit; genius; demon.
  • n. An appellation given to a person supposed to be of angelic goodness or loveliness; a darling.
  • n. An ancient gold coin of England, bearing the figure of the archangel Michael. It varied in value from 6s. 8d. to 10s.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In theology, one of an order of spiritual beings, attendants and messengers of God, usually spoken of as employed by him in ordering the affairs of the universe, and particularly of mankind.
  • n. Hence — In a sense restricted by the context, one of the fallen or rebellious spirits, the devil or one of his attendants, said to have been originally among the angels of God.
  • n. An attendant or guardian spirit; a genius.
  • n. A person, especially a woman, having qualities such as are ascribed to angels, as beauty, brightness, innocence, and unusual graciousness of manner or kindliness of heart.
  • n. A human being regarded as a messenger of God; one having a divine commission; hence, in the early Christian church, the pastor or bishop of the church in a particular city; among the Irvingites, a bishop.
  • n. A messenger.
  • n. A conventional figure accepted as a representation of the spiritual beings called angels, having a human form endowed with the highest attributes of beauty, clothed in long flowing robes, and furnished with wings attached behind the shoulders.
  • n. An English gold coin, originally of the value of 6s. 8d. sterling, afterward of 8s. and 10s., first struck by Edward IV. in 1465, last by Charles I. in 1634.
  • n. In modern theat. slang, one who advances money to put a new play on the boards: a financial backer.
  • n. Same as angelfish.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. spiritual being attendant upon God
  • n. person of exceptional holiness
  • n. the highest waterfall; has more than one leap; flow varies seasonally
  • n. invests in a theatrical production

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English engel or Old French angele, both from Late Latin angelus, from Late Greek angelos, from Greek, messenger.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English angel, aungel, ængel, engel, from Old English ængel, engel ("angel, messenger"), possibly via an early Proto-Germanic *angiluz but ultimately from Latin angelus, from Ancient Greek ἄγγελος (ángelos, "messenger"). Cognate with Scots angel ("angel"), West Frisian ingel ("angel"), Dutch engel ("angel"), Low German engel ("angel"), German Engel ("angel"), Swedish ängel ("angel"), Icelandic engill ("angel"), Gothic 𐌰𐌲𐌲𐌹𐌻𐌿𐍃 (aggilus, "angel, messenger"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Also incidentally, Switters had once been under the impression that the term angel, as applied to certain evolved mavericks within the CIA, was an entirely ironic reference to a dopey book by the evangelist Billy Graham, entitled Angels: God's Secret Agents.

    Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates

  • Matthew and John use the term angel, but Mark and Luke speak of one “dressed in a white garment.”

    A Study of Angels

  • While the angel is a thrill of no trivial dimension, she's also a tip-off to Kushner's billowing excesses.

    David Finkle: First Nighter: Tony Kushner's Angels in America Flies on Gossamer Wings

  • His lips would twist like he tasted something pickle-sour every time he said the word angel.

    Etched in Bone

  • “Are you a—” Taruna hesitated to use the word angel.

    Do Comets Dream?

  • The only plausible explanation seems to be that while the word angel (Malak) is used, this is not the ordinary use of the word, for this angel (i.e., messenger) is not an ordinary messenger of a created order.

    A Study of Angels

  • That single word angel is so expressive, so comprehensive, so comprehensible, it contains, believe me, all that can be said or imagined on these occasions, de part et d'autre. '

    Belinda

  • 'Just now, Orlando, you talked of living only for your family – for your mother – for your sisters; and now this angel is the only object of your future life!

    The Old Manor House

  • This angel is here called a watcher, or watchman, not only because angels by their nature are spirits, and therefore neither slumber nor sleep, but because by their office they are ministering spirits, and attend continually to their ministrations, watching all opportunities of serving their great

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume IV (Isaiah to Malachi)

  • The word "angel" comes from a Greek word that means "messenger.

    CyberBrethren-A Lutheran Blog

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Comments

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  • Spy lingo for a member of an enemy agency.

    August 26, 2009

  • in aviation: one thousand feet of altitude

    April 14, 2008

  • "In the arms of an angel
    Fly away from here
    From this dark cold hotel room
    And the endlessness that you fear
    You are pulled from the wreckage
    Of your silent reverie
    You're in the arms of the angel
    May you find some comfort there"

    January 18, 2007