beck·​on | \ ˈbe-kᵊn How to pronounce beckon (audio) \
beckoned; beckoning

Definition of beckon

intransitive verb

1 : to summon or signal typically with a wave or nod My master beckons. He … beckoned to the other generals to come and stand where he stood.— H. E. Scudder
2 : to appear inviting : attract the frontier beckons

transitive verb

: to beckon to beckoned us over to their table

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Other Words from beckon

beckon noun

Synonyms for beckon


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Examples of beckon in a Sentence

She was beckoning them in to shore. She beckoned the waiter to come over. She beckoned to the waiter to come over. From the time he was a child, the wilderness beckoned to him. The nature preserve beckons bird-watchers, who visit from around the world.
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Recent Examples on the Web Snowshoeing, hiking, sledding and even backcountry skiing on the slopes of a defunct ski area beckon visitors willing to shiver for a little adventure. John Meyer, The Know, "What to do in Rocky Mountain National Park during the winter," 13 Dec. 2019 The Norwegian artist is responsible for the ethereal siren call that appears throughout the film, beckoning Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) to return to her home. Gab Ginsberg, Billboard, "Aurora Explains How She Became the 'Voice of the Mountains' For 'Frozen 2's 'Into the Unknown'," 6 Dec. 2019 Enter the dragon of dancers with bodies beckoning the festivities to begin. Dasun Imanuel, Essence, "Street Dance Evolves From The Subway To Centerstage In The Powerful Performance 'Maze'," 28 Aug. 2019 While the bidders tried to rally last week and beckon support from the vendor community, a bid ultimately never materialized. Lillian Rizzo, WSJ, "Bon-Ton to Liquidate Stores," 18 Apr. 2018 For the past year, a tunnel dipping under three lanes of speeding traffic has beckoned. Jennifer Oldham, Anchorage Daily News, "Retrofitting busy highways to let wildlife travel safely, too," 13 Oct. 2019 No longer 21 For more than a century, San Francisco’s Union Square has beckoned shoppers to high-end department stores and a riotous mix of sellers able to pay the area’s sky-high retail rents. Taylor Kate Brown,, "Bay Briefing: Locked up as a teenager, still in prison as an adult," 3 Oct. 2019 To the southwest, the setting sun shone through exquisite cloud formations that hung over the slopes of Breckenridge, and Lake Dillon beckoned far below them to the west. John Meyer, The Know, "Skiing on Thanksgiving weekend? Conditions are great in Summit County," 29 Nov. 2019 The bookshelves were starkly empty, but sandwiches and chips beckoned to parents Martinez expected for the evening talk about reopening the school next year. San Antonio Express-News, "Pedro Martinez takes on poverty, charters, and the teacher's union. We followed him into the fray.," 28 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beckon.' 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 beckon

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for beckon

Middle English beknen, from Old English bīecnan, from bēacen sign — more at beacon

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Time Traveler for beckon

Time Traveler

The first known use of beckon was before the 12th century

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Statistics for beckon

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Beckon.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for beckon


How to pronounce beckon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of beckon

: to signal (someone) with your arm or hand in order to tell that person to come closer or follow
: to appear attractive or inviting
: to attract (someone or something)


beck·​on | \ ˈbe-kən How to pronounce beckon (audio) \
beckoned; beckoning

Kids Definition of beckon

1 : to call or signal by a motion (as a wave or nod) They beckoned to us to come over.
2 : to appear inviting New adventures were beckoning.

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More from Merriam-Webster on beckon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beckon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beckon

Spanish Central: Translation of beckon

Nglish: Translation of beckon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beckon for Arabic Speakers

Comments on beckon

What made you want to look up beckon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a feeling of well-being or elation

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