ephemeral

Something that is fleeting or short-lived is ephemeral, like a fly that lives for one day or text messages flitting from cellphone to cellphone.

Ephemeral (ə-FEM-ər-əl) was originally a medical term with the specific meaning "lasting only one day," as a fever or sickness (Hemera means "day" in Greek.) The word became more general, coming to mean "lasting a short time," covering the life spans of plants or insects and then eventually anything that is fleeting or transitory. A related word is the plural noun ephemera, meaning "things that are meant to last for only a short time." Posters for a rock concert are often ephemera, unless the band is so famous that they get saved and sold on eBay.

DEFINITIONS OF: ephemeral

1

n anything short-lived, as an insect that lives only for a day in its winged form

Synonyms:
ephemeron
Type of:
insect
small air-breathing arthropod

adj lasting a very short time

“the ephemeral joys of childhood”
Synonyms:
fugacious, passing, short-lived, transient, transitory
impermanent, temporary
not permanent; not lasting
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