Ephemeral (Photo credit: Chickens in the Trees (vns2009))



: ephemeral \ih-FEM-uh-rul\ adjective

: lasting a very short time


The young pop star‘s fame turned out to be ephemeral. “During the creation of the ephemeral show—the walls will be erased for a new exhibition later this month, leaving only a series of framed drawings behind—Ms. Dary visited the local library and copied pages from a 100-year-old local directory.” — From an article by Tammy La Gorce in the New York Times, January 4, 2013

Did you know?

The mayfly (order Ephemeroptera) typically hatches, matures, mates, and dies within the span of a few short hours (though the longest-lived species may survive a record two days); poets sometimes use this insect to symbolize life’s ephemeral nature. When “ephemeral” (from the Greek word “ephēmeros,” meaning “lasting a day”) first appeared in print in English in the late 16th century, it was a scientific term applied to short-term fevers, and later, to organisms (such as insects and flowers) with very short life spans. Soon after that, it acquired an extended sense referring to anything fleeting and short-lived (as in “ephemeral pleasures”).




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