beck·​on | \ ˈbe-kᵊn \
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


flag, gesture, motion, signal, wave

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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

Germany had seemed the place for him in 1914, but now the United States beckoned. Daniel Ford, WSJ, "‘Anthony Fokker’ Review: The Flying Dutchman," 2 May 2018 That mix – especially with Hamilton – seeks to continue the record success of last season and beckon new subscribers. John Timpane,, "'Hamilton' is coming to Philadelphia in August 2019: ticket packages on sale now," 23 Mar. 2018 Waiters passed food and appetizers, and various stations around the Ray Dolby Ballroom beckoned guests. Washington Post, "Stars let loose at Oscar parties marking awards season’s end," 6 Mar. 2018 An invitation beckoned 25 guests to Amangiri, a resort in Utah that’s surrounded by some of the greatest national parks like Horseshoe Bend, Bryce Canyon, and Monument Valley. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "A Proposal Under a Supermoon in Switzerland Led to a Wedding Celebration in the Utah Desert," 3 Jan. 2019 Photo: Kelly Coleman At Harvey’s beckoning, the Buffalo Bayou, which for decades drifted harmlessly behind the complex, had swamped The Pines with 3 feet of brackish water. Dan Frosch, WSJ, "The Year Hurricane Harvey Swamped a Neighborhood—and Split a Friendship," 16 Aug. 2018 New research suggests that your brain is hard-wired to crave foods that combine fat and carbohydrates, such as the fries and shakes that beckon from the drive-thru menu. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "How to make your fast food habit healthier," 20 June 2018 The Tahiti of this movie, once Gauguin flees the French colonial outposts and ventures into the jungles, is both beckoning and forbidding. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti' chronicles Gauguin’s desire to see a new way," 13 July 2018 Basketball and tennis courts are well-used and the green fields beckon softball devotees and future Orlando City players. A.d. Thompson,, "Winter Springs/Tuscawilla Neighborhood Guide," 21 June 2018

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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Statistics for beckon

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for beckon

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

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More Definitions for beckon



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 \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with beckon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for beckon

Spanish Central: Translation of beckon

Nglish: Translation of beckon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beckon for Arabic Speakers

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