Word of the Day


audio pronunciation
June 03, 2012
: calm, peaceful
: happy, golden
: prosperous, affluent
Although Grandma spoke longingly of the halcyon days of her childhood, Jamie suspected all had not been as perfect as she recalled.

"It was a halcyon period for her, although she continued to take prescription drugs, a portent of problems that lay ahead." — From Lois Banner's 2012 biography Marilyn: The Passion and Paradox of Marilyn Monroe
Get the Word of the Day direct to your inbox — subscribe today!
Did You Know?
According to Greek mythology, Alkyone, the daughter of the god of the winds, became so distraught when she learned that her husband had been killed in a shipwreck that she threw herself into the sea and was changed into a kingfisher. As a result, ancient Greeks called such birds "alkyon" or "halkyon." The legend also says that such birds built floating nests on the sea, where they so charmed the wind god that he created a period of unusual calm that lasted until the birds' eggs hatched. This legend prompted people to use "halcyon" both as a noun naming a genus of kingfisher and as an adjective meaning either "of or relating to the kingfisher or its nesting period" or "calm."

Name That Synonym: What synonym of "halcyon" rhymes with "acid"? The answer is ...
More Words of the Day
Visit our archives to see previous selections.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears