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

intransitive verb

: 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
: to appear inviting : attract
the frontier beckons

transitive verb

: to beckon to
beckoned us over to their table
beckon noun

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The astrology ahead beckons us to use our discernment and be mindful of our decision-making process. Valerie Mesa, Peoplemag, 1 June 2024 But, the city beckons right outside the window, with the Acropolis just a short walk away. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 24 May 2024 Opportunity begins with you, so don’t be afraid to take the path that beckons you instead of following the crowd. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, 22 May 2024 There was something remarkable about that moment, a hint of spring beckoning the sprouting seeds to burst forth in a mighty super bloom. Marlise Kast-Myers, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for beckon 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'beckon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English bekenen, bikenen, becknien, becknyn, going back to Old English bēcnan, bīcnan, bīcnian, bēacnian "to make a mute gesture to, summon, symbolize, portend, reveal," going back to West Germanic *bauhnjan- or *bauhnōjan- (whence also Old Saxon bōknian "to portend, give as a token," Old High German bouhhanen, bouhnen "to give a sign or token, signify"), weak verb derivatives of *baukn- "sign, signal" — more at beacon entry 1

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near beckon

Cite this Entry

“Beckon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


beck·​on ˈbek-ən How to pronounce beckon (audio)
beckoned; beckoning
ˈbek- (ə-)niŋ
: to call or signal to a person usually by a wave or nod
they beckoned us to come over
: to appear inviting
new adventures were beckoning

More from Merriam-Webster on beckon

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