Ephemeral things (from Greek "εφήμερος" - "ephemeros", literally "lasting only one day" [ [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry%3D%2345743 Ephemeros] , Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, "A Greek-English Lexicon", at Perseus] ) are transitory, existing only briefly. Typically the term is used to describe objects found in nature, although it can describe a wide range of things.
waterbodyis a wetland, spring, stream, river, pondor lakethat only exists for a short period following precipitation or snowmelt. They are not the same as intermittent or seasonal waterbodies, which exist for longer periods, but not all year round.
Examples of ephemeral streams are the
Ugab Riverin Southern Africa, and a number of small ephemeral watercourses that drain Talakin northern Niger. Other notable ephemeral rivers include the Todd Riverand Sandover Riverin Central Australiaas well as the Son River, Batha Riverand the Trabancos River.
There are also ephemeral islands such as
Banua Wuhuand Home Reef, which reappear and disappear beneath the waves.
Many plants are adapted to an ephemeral lifestyle, in which they spend most of the year or longer as seeds before conditions are right for a brief period of growth and reproduction. The spring ephemeral plant
mouse-ear cressis a well known example. Animals can be ephemeral, with brine shrimpbeing an example.
Ephemeral can also be used as an adjective to refer to a fast-deteriorating importance or temporary nature of an object to a person.
Brandsare notoriously ephemeral assets, and magazinepublishing was once much more ephemeral than it is today.
A number of art forms can be considered ephemeral because of their temporary nature. Early
land artand all sand sculptures, ice sculptures and chalk drawings on footpaths are examples of ephemeral art. G. Augustine Lynasand Duthain Dealbhcreate ephemeral sculptures.
placentais considered an ephemeral organ present during gestationand pregnancy.
A sensation which is felt by a person for a certain period of time before needing replenishment can be referred to as ephemeral. Often, happiness is described as ephemeral, as one does not find it as a permanent state, with human lives always varying shades of happiness and disappointment.
Christine Buci-Glucksmann, Esthetique De L'ephemere, Galilee, ISBN 2718606223
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Ephemeral — E*phem er*al, a. 1. Beginning and ending in a day; existing only, or no longer than, a day; diurnal; as, an ephemeral flower. [1913 Webster] 2. Short lived; existing or continuing for a short time only. Ephemeral popularity. V. Knox. [1913… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
ephemeral — [e fem′ər əl; ifem′ər əl, ēfem′ər əl] adj. [< Gr ephēmeros (see EPHEMERON) + AL] 1. lasting only one day 2. short lived; transitory [ephemeral glory] n. an ephemeral thing; specif., an organism with a brief life cycle SYN. TRANSIENT… … English World dictionary
Ephemeral — E*phem er*al, n. Anything lasting but a day, or a brief time; an ephemeral plant, insect, etc. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
ephemeral — I adjective brevis, brief, caducous, caducus, continuing for a short time, deciduous, disappearing, elusive, enduring only a very short time, ephemerous, evanescent, existing for a short time, fleeting, fugacious, fugitive, hurried, impermanent,… … Law dictionary
ephemeral — 1560s; see EPHEMERA (Cf. ephemera) + AL (Cf. al) (1). Related: Ephemerality. Originally of diseases and lifespans; extended sense of transitory is from 1630s … Etymology dictionary
ephemeral — transient, transitory, passing, fugitive, fleeting, evanescent, momentary, short lived Analogous words: *brief, short … New Dictionary of Synonyms
ephemeral — [adj] momentary, passing brief, episodic, evanescent, fleeting, flitting, fugacious, fugitive, impermanent, short, short lived, temporary, transient, transitory, unenduring, volatile; concepts 798,801 Ant. enduring, eternal, everlasting,… … New thesaurus
ephemeral — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ lasting or living for a very short time. DERIVATIVES ephemerality noun ephemerally adverb … English terms dictionary
ephemeral — I. adjective Etymology: Greek ephēmeros lasting a day, daily, from epi + hēmera day Date: 1576 1. lasting one day only < an ephemeral fever > 2. lasting a very short time < ephemeral pleasures > Synonyms: see transient • ephemerally … New Collegiate Dictionary
ephemeral — [[t]ɪfe̱mərəl[/t]] ADJ GRADED If you describe something as ephemeral, you mean that it lasts only for a very short time. [FORMAL] He talked about the country s ephemeral unity being shattered by the defeat... These paintings are in some ways a… … English dictionary