Definitions

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

  • adjective Being without beginning or end.
  • adjective Continuing without interruption; perpetual: synonym: continual.
  • adjective Seemingly endless; interminable.
  • noun Something timeless, uninterrupted, or endless.
  • noun God. Used with the.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Existing without beginning or end of existence; existing throughout all time.
  • Having a beginning but no end of existence or duration; everlasting; endless; imperishable: as, eternal fame.
  • In a special metaphysical use, existing outside of all relations of time; independent of all time-conditions; not temporal.
  • By hyperbole, having no recognized or perceived end of existence; indefinite in duration; perpetual; ceaseless; continued without intermission.
  • “married to immortal verse,”
  • It is sometimes applied to God (1 Tim. i. 17). Perpetual points to the future, and applies especially to that which is established: as, a perpetual covenant, desolation, feud. It is freely applied to anything that lasts indefinitely. All the four words are often used by hyperbole for that which has long duration. See incessant.
  • noun That which is everlasting.
  • noun Eternity.

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

  • noun One of the appellations of God.
  • noun That which is endless and immortal.
  • adjective Without beginning or end of existence; always existing.
  • adjective Without end of existence or duration; everlasting; endless; immortal.
  • adjective Continued without intermission; perpetual; ceaseless; constant.
  • adjective Existing at all times without change; immutable.
  • adjective Exceedingly great or bad; -- used as a strong intensive.
  • adjective an appellation of Rome.

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

  • adjective Lasting forever; unending.
  • adjective philosophy existing outside time; as opposed to sempiternal, existing within time but everlastingly

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

  • adjective continuing forever or indefinitely
  • adjective tiresomely long; seemingly without end

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin aeternālis, from Latin aeternus; see aiw- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin aeternalis, from Latin aeternus ("eternal"), from aevum ("age").

Examples

  • The august destiny of his own eternal city [observe -- '_eternal_,' not in virtue of history, but of prophecy, not upon the retrospect and the analogies of any possible experience, but by the necessity of an aboriginal doom], a city that was to be the centre of an empire whose circumference is everywhere, did not depend for any part of its majesty upon the meanness of its enemies; on the contrary, in the very grandeur of those enemies lay, by a rebound of the feelings inevitable to a Roman mind, the paramount grandeur of that awful Republic which had swallowed them all up.

    The Posthumous Works of Thomas De Quincey, Vol. 2

  • When we made that deal, I seem to remember the word eternal being in there, as in: eternal soul.

    Roseanne Archy

  • When we made that deal, I seem to remember the word eternal being in there, as in: eternal soul.

    Roseanne Archy

  • When we made that deal, I seem to remember the word eternal being in there, as in: eternal soul.

    Roseanne Archy

  • When we made that deal, I seem to remember the word eternal being in there, as in: eternal soul.

    Roseanne Archy

  • At my school, we say we teach what we call the eternal verities of journalism.

    Jeff Jarvis: Product v. Process Journalism: The Myth of Perfection v. Beta Culture

  • At my school, we say we teach what we call the eternal verities of journalism.

    Product v. process journalism: The myth of perfection v. beta culture « BuzzMachine

  • Although he desired, in some sense, to obtain what he called eternal life, the "joy thereof" had not been kindled in his cold, calculating heart.

    The Parables of Our Lord

  • Yet hold thou still, what world soe'er may roll Naught fear thee, with the Captain of thy soul; In all the eternal world, the cosmic stir, All the eternal is akin to her; She shall survive, and quick'n, and live at last When all, save souls, have perished in the blast.

    Scientific Imperialism

  • The prophets of such a God take all the glow, all the hope, all the colour, all the worth, out of life on earth, and offer you instead what they call eternal bliss — a pale, tearless hell.

    Unspoken Sermons Third Series

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