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

  • n. Time without beginning or end; infinite time.
  • n. The state or quality of being eternal.
  • n. The timeless state following death.
  • n. The afterlife; immortality.
  • n. A very long or seemingly endless time: waited in the dentist's office for an eternity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Existence without end, infinite time.
  • n. Existence outside of time.
  • n. A period of time which extends infinitely far into the future.
  • n. The remainder of time that elapses after death.
  • n. A comparatively long time.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Infinite duration, without beginning in the past or end in the future; also, duration without end in the future; endless time.
  • n. Condition which begins at death; immortality.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The condition or quality of being eternal.
  • n. The state of things in which the flow of time has ceased.
  • n. Existence outside of the relations of time.
  • n. The state or condition of existence preceding life, or subsequent to death.
  • n. Indefinite duration of time or vast extent of space; anything that seems endless; endless round: as, an eternity of suspense; the great desert with its eternity of sand.

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

  • n. time without end
  • n. a seemingly endless time interval (waiting)
  • n. a state of eternal existence believed in some religions to characterize the afterlife


Middle English eternite, from Old French, from Latin aeternitās, from aeternus, eternal; see eternal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin aeternitas. (Wiktionary)



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  • A common adjectival use 'an eternity ring.'

    November 7, 2011

  • Everyday, in itself, brings eternity.
    The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

    July 27, 2009

  • "...I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds,
    Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
    From the hid battlements of Eternity.
    Those shaken mists a space unsettle,
    Then round the half-glimpsèd turrets, slowly wash again..."

    --Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven

    December 30, 2006