emanation

Stinky smell coming from under the floor? Weird light from the garden shed at night? That's an emanation, something, often invisible, that is emitted by something.

Emanation is very similar in meaning to emission, and the two words are often used interchangeably, though there is an important difference; there tends to be something slightly more other-worldy and inexplicable about an emanation, owing in part to the word's theological use in the Christian religion as a means of describing the Holy Spirit. An emission always has a solid base in reality or science, and an emanation may be just plain spooky.

Definitions of emanation
  1. noun
    the act of emitting; causing to flow forth
    synonyms: emission
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    types:
    radiation
    the act of spreading outward from a central source
    discharge, venting
    the act of venting
    bombardment
    the act (or an instance) of subjecting a body or substance to the impact of high-energy particles (as electrons or alpha rays)
    type of:
    egress, egression, emergence
    the act of coming (or going) out; becoming apparent
  2. noun
    something that is emitted or radiated (as a gas or an odor or a light, etc.)
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    types:
    ectoplasm
    (spiritualism) a substance supposed to emanate from the body of the medium during a trance
    type of:
    matter
    that which has mass and occupies space
  3. noun
    (theology) the origination of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
    “the emanation of the Holy Spirit”
    synonyms: procession, rise
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    type of:
    inception, origin, origination
    an event that is a beginning; a first part or stage of subsequent events
Word Family