Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday 1

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy at the Bermuda Onion where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative!

I have finally managed to start reading The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean and have a lovely word to share ...


"Plato developed a theory of "forms," which argued that all objects are shadows of one ideal type. All trees, for instance, are imperfect copies of an ideal tree, whose perfect "tree-ness" they aspire to. ... Plato believed that these forms were not merely theoretical but actually existed, even if they floated around in an empyrean realm beyond the direct perception of humans."

empyrean (ˌɛmpaɪˈriːən)
1. (Ecclesiastical Terms) the highest part of the (supposedly spherical) heavens, thought in ancient times to contain the pure element of fire and by early Christians to be the abode of God and the angels
2. the heavens or sky

3. of or relating to the sky, the heavens, or the empyrean
4. heavenly or sublime
5. composed of fire
[C17: from Medieval Latin empyreus, from Greek empuros fiery, from pur fire]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


  1. Wow, that's some pretty heavy stuff! Empyrean is a new word for me.

  2. Actually is isn't really - heavy that is - this is all just in aid of discussing where the concept of an element as an indivisible piece of matter comes from. This book is a lot of fun so far.

  3. I have been meaning to get around to reading that book for ages. I'd seen "empyrean" before, but forgotten what it meant--the spheres of the heavens and so on--so thanks for that refresher.


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