ephemeral vs ephemeron what difference

what is difference between ephemeral and ephemeron



From New Latin ephemerus, from Ancient Greek ἐφήμερος (ephḗmeros), the more common form of ἐφημέριος (ephēmérios, of, for, or during the day, living or lasting but for a day, short-lived, temporary), from ἐπί (epí, on) + ἡμέρα (hēméra, day).


  • IPA(key): /ɛˈfɛ.mə.ɹəl/, /əˈfɛ.mə.ɹəl/
  • Rhymes: -ɛɹəl


ephemeral (plural ephemerals)

  1. Something which lasts for a short period of time.
    Synonym: ephemeron

Derived terms

  • spring ephemeral


ephemeral (comparative more ephemeral, superlative most ephemeral)

  1. Lasting for a short period of time.
    Synonyms: temporary, transitory, fleeting, evanescent, momentary, short-lived, short, volatile; see also Thesaurus:ephemeral
    Antonyms: permanent, eternal, everlasting, timeless
    • 1821-1822, Vicesimus Knox, Remarks on the tendency of certain Clauses in a Bill now pending in Parliament to degrade Grammar Schools
      Esteem, lasting esteem, the esteem of good men, like himself, will be his reward, when the gale of ephemeral popularity shall have gradually subsided.
    • 1853, James Stephen, Lecture on the right use of Books
      sentences not of ephemeral, but of eternal, efficacy
  2. (biology) Existing for only one day, as with some flowers, insects, and diseases.
  3. (geology, of a body of water) Usually dry, but filling with water for brief periods during and after precipitation.
    • 1986, W.H. Raymond, “Clinoptilolite Deposit in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, U.S.A.”, in Yūichi Murakami et al. (editors), New Developments in Zeolite Science and Technology (conference proceedings), Elsevier, →ISBN, page 80:
      The graben constitutes a depositional basin and a topographic low, underlain by Cretaceous shales, in which volcanic debris accumulated in ephemeral lakes and streams in Oligocene and early Miocene time.

Derived terms

  • ephemerally

Related terms

  • ephemera
  • ephemeron
  • ephemerality
  • hemeral


Further reading

  • ephemeral in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • ephemeral in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
  • ephemeral on Wikipedia.Wikipedia



Borrowed from Ancient Greek ἐφήμερον (ephḗmeron), neuter form of ἐφήμερος (ephḗmeros)


ephemeron (plural ephemera)

  1. Something short-lived or transitory.
  2. (programming) A type of weak reference in a garbage collected programming language that does not permit an object to be kept alive by its finalizer.
    • 2020, KC Sivaramakrishnan et al., “Retrofitting Parallelism onto OCaml”[1]:
      Beyond type safety, OCaml has several features that closely interact with the garbage collector. These include weak references, finalisers, ephemerons, and lazy values, whose semantics will have to be preserved with the new GC so as to not break programs that use those features.

Related terms

  • ephemeral
  • ephemeric

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