1

beacon

noun bea·con \ ˈbē-kən \

Definition of beacon

1 :a signal fire commonly on a hill, tower, or pole
2 a :a lighthouse or other signal for guidance
b :a radio transmitter emitting signals to guide aircraft
3 :a source of light or inspiration
  • … the beacon to the oppressed of all countries …
  • —Adrienne Koch

Examples of beacon in a Sentence

  1. These countries are beacons of democracy.

  2. Our nation should be a beacon of peace to people around the world.

Recent Examples of beacon from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of beacon

Middle English beken, from Old English bēacen sign; akin to Old High German bouhhan sign


2

beacon

verb

Definition of beacon

intransitive verb
:to shine as a beacon
  • … Adventure beaconed from far off, and his heart leapt to greet the light.
  • —Maurice Hewlett
transitive verb
:to furnish with a signal or a source of light or inspiration :to furnish with a beacon

Examples of beacon in a Sentence

  1. a lone lighthouse beacons the entrance to the island's only harbor

Origin and Etymology of beacon

verbal derivative of 1beacon



BEACON Defined for English Language Learners

beacon

noun

Definition of beacon for English Language Learners

  • : 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


BEACON Defined for Kids

beacon

noun bea·con \ ˈbē-kən \

Definition of beacon for Students

1 :a guiding or warning light or fire on a high place
2 :a radio station that sends out signals to guide aircraft
3 :someone or something that guides or gives hope to others
  • These countries are beacons of democracy.


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