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


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

The view beckons you out to the terrace that spans almost the entire width of the home and offers spectacular outdoor space to entertain, dine, and thrive. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: One of a Kind: Spectacular Mt. Diablo views from a Round Hill North home in Alamo," 12 Aug. 2019 Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Missouri and Arkansas beckoned him for on-campus visits. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "J.T. Realmuto emerges as rock among Phillies' stars: 'His toughness is already legendary'," 19 June 2019 Milk shakes as well as mango and watermelon sorbets also beckoned on the shop’s Facebook page. Phillip Valys,, "Notorious Creamery ice cream shop from rapper Tory Lanez opening June 15 in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village," 11 June 2019 With median home prices hovering around $200,000, Nevada beckoned residents of neighboring states, especially California, seeking jobs and more affordable housing. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As Nevada booms, Henderson and Reno grapple with growth limits," 23 July 2019 An undeterred morning person, Sparano awoke his children before sunrise with unwelcomed lyrics and dances while beckoning them to sing along. Andrew Krammer,, "A year after his death, ex-Dolphins coach Tony Sparano’s influence still being felt," 22 July 2019 In these shops, virtue and vice are piled side by side, beckoning us at our most vulnerable. Andrea Whittle, Condé Nast Traveler, "In the Battle of Hudson News Versus Willpower, Hudson News Always Wins," 19 July 2019 The streets leading to the temple are crammed with gift shops selling anything printed with beckoning cat images. Washington Post, "AP Photos: Countless lucky cats beckon at Tokyo temple," 10 July 2019 The staff report said that most of El Cajon’s motels were built at a time when roadside spots beckoning travelers were popular. San Diego Union-Tribune, "El Cajon sets stricter standards for hotels and motels," 20 June 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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Statistics for beckon

Last Updated

17 Aug 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 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

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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