beacon

noun
bea·​con | \ ˈbē-kən How to pronounce beacon (audio) \

Definition of beacon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a signal fire commonly on a hill, tower, or pole
2a : 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

beacon

verb
beaconed; beaconing; beacons

Definition of beacon (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for beacon

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of beacon in a Sentence

Noun These countries are beacons of democracy. Our nation should be a beacon of peace to people around the world. Verb a lone lighthouse beacons the entrance to the island's only harbor
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For 57 years, a red-and-white neon cross has graced the rooftop of the Orlando Union Rescue Mission near the city’s downtown as a beacon of hope to the lost and desperate. Kate Santich, orlandosentinel.com, "The Rescue Mission’s iconic cross near downtown Orlando has survived several hurricanes. But will it survive a move?," 9 Sep. 2019 Not just for us, not just for our vitality and longevity, but as a beacon to the rest of the country, to those in other industries, facing similar challenges. Peter Paige, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why Writers Shouldn't Back Down in Their Fight With Agencies (Guest Column)," 30 Aug. 2019 But, good taste, like a beacon of truth, lights a path of wise selections through the fads and fancies of another fashion season. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Back to school fashion in 1950," 27 Aug. 2019 Quinones, 42, used his Spot personal locator beacon to summon an ambulance and a Lake County Sheriff’s deputy. oregonlive.com, "Diabetic Oregon man, 72, who survived 5 days in desert after stranding Jeep, is feeling lucky and grateful," 3 Aug. 2019 Working with Clear Channel, the city outfitted the roofs of more than 300 open-air bus stops with flowering succulent plants that spring up from the metal shelters and attract pollinators like a beacon of safety. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Dutch city transforms bus stops with bee-friendly green roofs," 26 July 2019 Another breakout star in La Liga, Chukwueze was a rare beacon of light in a fairly dismal season for Villarreal. SI.com, "AFCON 2019: 6 of the Best Players You've Probably Never Heard Of," 21 June 2019 And yet there are, dappled among the many celebrities who refuse to log off, a small number who shine like a beacon in the darkness. Casey Newton, The Verge, "22 predictions for social media in 2019," 15 Dec. 2018 Your Check Engine light is shining like a beacon of bad news. Michael Austin, Popular Mechanics, "What Your Check Engine Light Means and What To Do About It," 31 July 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Find My Friends seemed to offer me no warning whatsoever that its settings had been changed to beacon my location to her in real-time. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "The Simple Way Apple and Google Let Domestic Abusers Stalk Victims," 2 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of beacon

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1650, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for beacon

Noun

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

Verb

verbal derivative of beacon entry 1

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Statistics for beacon

Last Updated

6 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for beacon

The first known use of beacon was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for beacon

beacon

noun
How to pronounce beacon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of beacon

: 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

noun
bea·​con | \ ˈbē-kən How to pronounce beacon (audio) \

Kids Definition of beacon

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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Comments on beacon

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