from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or an instance of emanating.
  • noun Something that issues from a source; an emission.
  • noun Chemistry Any of several radioactive gases that are isotopes of radon and are products of radioactive decay.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of flowing or issuing from a fountainhead or origin; emission; radiation.
  • noun In philosophy: Efficient causation due to the essence and not to any particular action of the cause. Thus, when the trunk of a tree is moved, the branches go along with it by virtue of emanation. Hence — The production of anything by such a process of causation, as from the divine essence.
  • noun That which issues, flows, or is given out from any substance or body; effiux; effiuvium: as, the odor of a flower is an emanation of its particles.
  • noun In algebra, the process of obtaining the successive emanants of a quantic.
  • noun Specifically, in radioactivity, an unstable gaseous disintegration-product spontaneously produced from a radioactive substance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of flowing or proceeding from a fountain head or origin.
  • noun That which issues, flows, or proceeds from any object as a source; efflux; an effluence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act of flowing or proceeding from a fountain head or origin.
  • noun That which issues, flows, or proceeds from any object as a source; efflux; an effluence; as, perfume is an emanation from a flower.
  • noun uncountable, obsolete, chemistry radon

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

  • noun (theology) the origination of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
  • noun the act of emitting; causing to flow forth
  • noun something that is emitted or radiated (as a gas or an odor or a light, etc.)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The term emanation, being itself a metaphor, has been, and is still, used in many senses, and frequently by writers who are not emanationists.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 5: Diocese-Fathers of Mercy 1840-1916 1913

  • From all which it follows, that this author is grossly ignorant of the true philosophical sense of the term emanation; sometimes applying it to one thing, and sometimes denying it of another; but both at a venture, and just as people use to do at blindman's buff. "

    Sermons Preached Upon Several Occasions. Vol. I. 1634-1716 1823

  • Hell, the Commerce Clause must have an emanation from a penumbra or something to allow them to do that.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Feds May Sue Arizona Over Immigration 2010

  • You'll notice Volokh's linked post, for example, doesn't mention it at all, preferring to vibe on an emanation from the 2nd as a possible hook for a right to prevent your own death.

    Balkinization 2006

  • As Blake's concept of emanation is developed in The Four Zoas, Milton, and Jerusalem, the term generally refers to a separate female part of a character that appears or emanates in the state of existence often referred to as generation, a state defined, in part, by sexual division and generative reproduction.

    Notes on ''If the acts have been perform'd let the Bard himself witness': William Blake's Milton and MOO space' 2005

  • The rate of diffusion of the thorium emanation is even less satisfactorily determined; but it also appears to be high.

    Sir William Ramsay - Nobel Lecture 1966

  • And it is not inconceivable that the still more unstable emanation from the matter named actinium by Debierne and emanium by Giesel may be found to possess an even higher atomic weight than uranium; judging by the phenomenon of brilliant illumination when a preparation of emanium is held above a screen of zinc sulphide, the impression is formed that a very dense matter is falling down on the screen.

    Sir William Ramsay - Nobel Lecture 1966

  • Subsequently we had a meeting in the City of New York and have begun the organization to celebrate that outstanding event, not precisely as an emanation from the President himself, but as a matter in which for the second time in their joint history Great Britain and the United States of America came together for a beneficent purpose.

    Good Will Between the United States and Canada 1921

  • His religion was an emanation from the heart, a child of personal experience, and not a formula of the head.

    Oldtown Folks 1869

  • It was as if there had been an emanation from the mind, like that from the body.

    Oldtown Folks 1869


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  • from Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    Date: 1570

    (n): the origination of the world by a series of hierarchically descending radiations from the Godhead through intermediate stages to matter

    January 26, 2008