Definition of halcyon
1 : a bird identified with the kingfisher and held in ancient legend to nest at sea about the time of the winter solstice and to calm the waves during incubation
2 : kingfisher
halcyon was our Word of the Day on 06/03/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Origin and Etymology of halcyon
Middle English alceon, from Latin halcyon, from Greek alkyōn, halkyōn
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Examples of halcyon in a Sentence
a halcyon era following the American Civil War
during those early halcyon years the company's potential for growth seemed unlimited
Recent Examples of halcyon from the Web
Gone are the halcyon days when he was seen as a master puppeteer who won Donald Trump the White House and secretly called all the shots behind the scenes.
The largest of them was a glitzy bash at a villa outside downtown that evoked halcyon days of festivals past, when established U.S. and French giants regularly threw over-the-top parties.
Refined, almost epicene, with knobby knees and visible veins, and a pencil moustache to match his pencil frame, Adrien tells stories of Frantz’s halcyon days as a student in Paris before the war.
First four picks have defense headed back towards halcyon days.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'halcyon'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
According to Greek mythology, Alkyone, the daughter of the god of the winds, became so distraught when she learned that her husband had been killed in a shipwreck that she threw herself into the sea and was changed into a kingfisher. As a result, ancient Greeks called such birds alkyon or halkyon. The legend also says that such birds built floating nests on the sea, where they so charmed the wind god that he created a period of unusual calm that lasted until the birds' eggs hatched. This legend prompted people to use halcyon both as a noun naming a genus of kingfisher and as an adjective meaning either "of or relating to the kingfisher or its nesting period" or calm.
HALCYON Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of halcyon for English Language Learners
: very happy and successful
Learn More about halcyon
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for halcyon
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