- a guiding or warning signal, as a light or fire, especially one in an elevated position.
- a tower or hill used for such purposes.
- a lighthouse, signal buoy, etc., on a shore or at a dangerous area at sea to warn and guide vessels.
- radio beacon.
- a radar device at a fixed location that, upon receiving a radar pulse, transmits a reply pulse that enables the original sender to determine his or her position relative to the fixed location.
- a person, act, or thing that warns or guides.
- a person or thing that illuminates or inspires: The Bible has been our beacon during this trouble.
- Digital Technology. web beacon.
- to serve as a beacon to; warn or guide.
- to furnish or mark with beacons: a ship assigned to beacon the shoals.
- to serve or shine as a beacon: A steady light beaconed from the shore.
Origin of beacon
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a city in SE New York.
Examples from the Web for beacons
Punctuating the sand from end to end, postos are the permanent lifeguard stands that act like beacons.The Girl From Ipanema Is Not Alone: Rio’s Famous Beach Is A Rich, Cultural Kaleidoscope
June 23, 2014
Cuomo, as any other governor would, insists his budgets are beacons of responsibility.Powerbroker Richard Ravitch Thinks New York Might Be Doomed
April 26, 2014
Because during those times that were so cruel and so dark, those small acts of kindness were beacons of light.Ping Fu’s Journey from Cultural Revolution Orphan to Geomagic CEO
January 20, 2013
Both athletes are—at this moment, at least—national heroes and beacons of American patriotism.Gabby Douglas, Ryan Lochte: Why Families of America’s Olympics Athletes Are Broke
August 7, 2012
Mr Peek, who organised a raft of Golden Jubilee beacons in 2002, delivered the crystal to the Tower of London yesterday evening.4,000 Beacons To Illuminate The Globe on Jubilee Weekend
May 2, 2012
The beacons solved that problem and opened the entire universe.
For this reason, most beacons are built on uninhabited planets.
Beacons had been prepared on every hill and headland, and men were set to watch.Red Cap Tales
Samuel Rutherford Crockett
We have experience, we have beacons, we have landmarks enough.The Ontario High School Reader
Now the Corporation, with its jurisdiction and beacons, is purely modern.The Clyde Mystery
- a signal fire or light on a hill, tower, etc, esp one used formerly as a warning of invasion
- a hill on which such fires were lit
- a lighthouse, signalling buoy, etc, used to warn or guide ships in dangerous waters
- short for radio beacon
- a radio or other signal marking a flight course in air navigation
- short for Belisha beacon
- a person or thing that serves as a guide, inspiration, or warning
- a stone set by a surveyor to mark a corner or line of a site boundary, etc
- to guide or warn
- (intr) to shine
Word Origin and History for beacons
Old English beacen "sign, portent, lighthouse," from West Germanic *baukna "beacon, signal" (cf. Old Frisian baken, Old Saxon bokan, Old High German bouhhan); not found outside Germanic. Perhaps borrowed from Latin bucina "a crooked horn or trumpet, signal horn." But more likely from PIE *bhew-, a variant of the base *bha- "to gleam, shine" (see phantasm). Figurative use from c.1600.