Au*ro"ra (?), n.; pl. E. Auroras (), L. (rarely used) Aurorae (). [L. aurora, for ausosa, akin to Gr. , , dawn, Skr. ushas, and E. east.]


The rising light of the morning; the dawn of day; the redness of the sky just before the sun rises.


The rise, dawn, or beginning.


3. Class. Myth.

The Roman personification of the dawn of day; the goddess of the morning. The poets represented her a rising out of the ocean, in a chariot, with rosy fingers dropping gentle dew.

4. Bot.

A species of crowfoot.



The aurora borealis or aurora australis (northern or southern lights).

Aurora borealis (), i. e., northern daybreak; popularly called northern lights. A luminous meteoric phenomenon, visible only at night, and supposed to be of electrical origin. This species of light usually appears in streams, ascending toward the zenith from a dusky line or bank, a few degrees above the northern horizon; when reaching south beyond the zenith, it forms what is called the corona, about a spot in the heavens toward which the dipping needle points. Occasionally the aurora appears as an arch of light across the heavens from east to west. Sometimes it assumes a wavy appearance, and the streams of light are then called merry dancers. They assume a variety of colors, from a pale red or yellow to a deep red or blood color. The Aurora australis () is a corresponding phenomenon in the southern hemisphere, the streams of light ascending in the same manner from near the southern horizon.


© Webster 1913.