Definition of


  1. (noun, communication) a fire (usually on a hill or tower) that can be seen from a distance
  2. (noun, artifact) a radio station that broadcasts a directional signal for navigational purposes
  3. (noun, artifact) a tower with a light that gives warning of shoals to passing ships
  4. (verb, perception) shine like a beacon
  5. (verb, motion) guide with a beacon

via WordNet, Princeton University

Alternate forms of Beacon

Derivations: beacon

Hyponyms: signal fire, signal light

Hypernyms: beam, conduct, direct, guide, lead, radio station, shine, take, tower, visual signal

Origin of the word Beacon

  1. O.E. beacen "sign, portent, lighthouse," from W.Gmc. *bauknan (cf. O.Fris. baken, O.S. bokan, O.H.G. bouhhan); not found outside Germanic. Perhaps borrowed from L. bucina "a crooked horn or trumpet, signal horn." But more likely from PIE *bhau-, a variant of the base *bha- "to gleam, shine" (see phantasm). more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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Word of the Moment

James Augustus Henry Murray

Scottish philologist and the lexicographer who shaped the Oxford English Dictionary (1837-1915)