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 On top of that, while NYC & Company officials are touting the many aspects of city life that can beckon visitors in the coming months, not everything has reopened for business. Charles Passy, WSJ, "New York City to Visitors: We Need You," 21 Apr. 2021 The worry on Wall Street now is that Zoom’s day in the sun is likely over as businesses beckon employees back to the office. Anne Sraders, Fortune, "10 stocks star fund manager Cathie Wood is buying for 2021—and 3 she’s avoiding," 15 Apr. 2021 Freshly groomed corduroy will still beckon you from the chairlift. oregonlive, "COVID-19 will change Oregon’s ski season; here’s how," 19 Nov. 2020 Then the bittersweet peal of her mother’s bell would beckon her home for dinner. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, "Bringing the outside in: How one songwriter finds creativity," 3 Feb. 2021 Our phones don’t ring and our screens don’t beckon us. Nicholas Thompson, Wired, "The Unsettling Truth About the ‘Mostly Harmless’ Hiker," 12 Jan. 2021 George Clooney directs and stars in a film that should beckon to fans of smart, thoughtful sci-fi, involving astronauts, the Arctic and a global catastrophe. Mike Scott,, "Gifts for the whole family: 10 potential gems to watch during this holiday movie season," 23 Nov. 2020 Dam trailhead, there are overlooks along the river that beckon you to stop within the first mile. John Pana, cleveland, "The best bike & hike trails in Northeast Ohio," 23 June 2020 Snowflakes, lanterns and scrollwork based on the iron gates beckon you across. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, "Winterlights at Newfields 2020: What to know about the holiday lights show in Indianapolis," 20 Oct. 2020

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

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Beckon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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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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