Definition of beacon
- … the beacon to the oppressed of all countries …
- —Adrienne Koch
These countries are beacons of democracy.
Our nation should be a beacon of peace to people around the world.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beacon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
a lone lighthouse beacons the entrance to the island's only harbor
: a strong light that can be seen from far away and that is used to help guide ships, airplanes, etc.
: a radio signal that is broadcast to help guide ships, airplanes, etc.
: someone or something (such as a country) that guides or gives hope to others
What made you want to look up beacon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!
Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!TAKE THE QUIZ
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ