Aureole

This is a relatively uncommon but still frequent enough misconception. I have noticed it twice recently – I think in Adam Roberts’s Stone – but also in Saturday’s Guardian.

An aureole is a halo, as seen in religious paintings. Like the similar aura it is derived from the Latin word for gold and implies shininess.

What it isn’t is a small circular area, such as around a nipple. That is an areola.

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