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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Aureola \Au*re"o*la\, Aureole \Au"re*ole\, n. [F. aur['e]ole, fr. L. aureola, (fem adj.) of gold (sc. corona crown), dim. of aureus. See Aureate, Oriole.] 1. (R. C. Theol.) A celestial crown or accidental glory added to the bliss of heaven, as a reward to those (as virgins, martyrs, preachers, etc.) who have overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. [1913 Webster] 2. The circle of rays, or halo of light, with which painters surround the figure and represent the glory of Christ, saints, and others held in special reverence. [1913 Webster] Note: Limited to the head, it is strictly termed a nimbus; when it envelops the whole body, an aureola. --Fairholt. [1913 Webster] 3. A halo, actual or figurative. [1913 Webster] The glorious aureole of light seen around the sun during total eclipses. --Proctor. [1913 Webster] The aureole of young womanhood. --O. W. Holmes. [1913 Webster] 4. (Anat.) See Areola, 2. [1913 Webster] 5. the outermost region of the sun's atmosphere; visible from earth during a solar eclipse, or in outer space by the use of special instruments; a corona. Syn: corona. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC]