Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A celestial being having three pairs of wings.
  • n. Christianity The first of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A six-winged angel; the highest choir or order of angels in Christian angelology, ranked above cherubim, and below God. A detailed description can be found at the beginning of Isaiah chapter 6

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of an order of celestial beings, each having three pairs of wings. In ecclesiastical art and in poetry, a seraph is represented as one of a class of angels.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of the celestial beings described in Isaiah vi. 1–6 as surrounding the throne of Jehovah.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an angel of the first order; usually portrayed as the winged head of a child

Etymologies

Back-formation from pl. seraphim, from Middle English seraphin, from Old English, from Late Latin seraphīn, seraphīm, from Greek serapheim, from Hebrew śərāpîm, pl. of śārāp, fiery serpent, seraph, from śārap, to burn; see śrp1 in Semitic roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Singular form of seraphim, from Latin seraphim, from Hebrew שרפים (serafim), plural form of שרף (saraf, "seraph"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In among the swirls of blackness, she could see the bright flashes of weapons, the Shadowhunters brandishing the brilliant white daggers Tessa knew now were called seraph blades, each one brought into shimmering life by the name of an angel.

    Clockwork Angel

  • They seemed to pierce the sky like shining daggers, and Simon realized where he had seen that material before: in the hard, glasslike weapons the Shadowhunters carried, the ones they called seraph blades.

    City of Glass

  • The word seraph would better express their heavenly attributes.

    The Planter's Northern Bride

  • The word seraph means "celestial being" and seraphim represent the highest known rank of angels.

    WordPress.com News

  • The seraph is the divine messenger, and he brings a coal from the altar, and lays that upon the prophet's lips, which is but the symbolical way of saying that the man who is conscious of his own evil will find in himself a blessed despair of being his own healer, and that he has to turn to the divine source, the vision of which has kindled the consciousness, to find there that which will take away the evil.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Isaiah and Jeremiah

  • He wears boots of red leather, and huge spurs with bell rowels; and he is never seen without the "seraph".

    The Rifle Rangers

  • You, dear seraph of the Classic Angel Collection, have twenty more days to teach me this before you're off to your heaven under the stairs.

    To A Christmas Angel, a triptych

  • Poor dear good old Gwynne, tender, sensitive, shrinking, with the face of a seraph and the heart of a maid.

    Kempton-Wace Letters

  • All of a sudden there was this seraph, this six-winged angel on a cross, floating right in front of me...

    The Hill of Crosses

  • Into O’Dare’s nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions comes a mysterious stranger, a seraph, who offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives.

    Angel Time by Anne Rice: Book summary

Comments

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  • "...But we loved with a love that was more than love--I and my Annabelle Lee; with a love that the winged seraphs of heaven coveted her and me..." (Annabelle Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

    July 15, 2011