• IPA: /ɛmˌpaɪˈɹiːn̩/, /ɛmˈpɪɹi.ən/

empyrean (plural empyreans)

  1. (historical) The region of pure light#Noun|light and fire#Noun|fire; the high#Adjective|highest heaven, where the pure element of fire was supposed by the ancient#Noun|ancients to exist: the same as the ether, the ninth heaven according to ancient#Adjective|ancient astronomy.
    • 1674, John Milton, “Book VII”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem in Twelve Books, 2nd revised and augmented edition, London: Printed by S[amuel] Simmons […], OCLC 563123917 ↗, page 192 ↗:
      So ſung they, and the Empyrean rung, / With Halleluiahs: [...]
    • 1864, Alfred Tennyson, “[Experiments] In Quantity”, in Enoch Arden, &c., London: Edward Moxon & Co., […], OCLC 879237670 ↗, page 174 ↗:
      Milton, a name to resound for ages; / Whose titan angels, Gabriel, Abdiel, / Starr'd from Jehovah's gorgeous armouries, / Tower, the deep-domed empyrëan / Rings to the roar of an angel onset— [...]
    • 1908, G[ilbert] K[eith] Chesterton, “The Two Poets of Saffron Park”, in The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare, Bristol: J[ames] W[illiams] Arrowsmith, […]; London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Company Limited, OCLC 3716058 ↗, page 13 ↗:
      This particular evening, if it remembered for nothing else, will be remembered in that place for its strange sunset. [...] The whole was so close about the earth, as if to express nothing but a violent secrecy. The very empyrean seemed to be a secret.
Related terms Adjective

empyrean (not comparable)

  1. Of the sky or the heavens; celestially refined#Adjective|refined.
    • 1668, John Dryden, Annus Mirabilis: The Year of Wonders, M. DC. LXVI. […], London: Printed for Henry Herringman, […], OCLC 1064438096 ↗, stanza 270, page 71 ↗:
      In th' Empyrean Heaven, (the bleſs'd Abode) / The Thrones and the Dominions proſtrate lie, / Not daring to behold their angry God: [...]
    • 1700, Matthew Prior, Carmen Saeculare
      Yet upward she [the goddess] incessant flies; / Resolv’d to reach the high empyrean Sphere.
    • 1818, John Keats, “Book II”, in Endymion: A Poetic Romance, London: Printed [by T. Miller] for Taylor and Hessey, […], OCLC 1467112 ↗, lines 821–822, page 91 ↗:
      Lispings empyrean will I sometime teach / Thine honied tongue— [...]
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