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[kair-uh n, kar-] /ˈkɛər ən, ˈkær-/
Classical Mythology. the ferryman who conveyed the souls of the dead across the Styx.
(usually used ironically) any ferryman.
Astronomy. the natural satellite of Pluto, discovered in 1978.
Related forms
[kuh-roh-nee-uh n] /kəˈroʊ ni ən/ (Show IPA),
[kuh-ron-ik] /kəˈrɒn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Charon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nothing was said, but they got silently into the boat, which might have been Charon's craft for all he could see of it.

  • He would have followed, but Charon, now on guard, drove him back.

    Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew Josephine Preston Peabody
  • This time the ill-looking Charon made no venture for my purse.

    Sir Ludar Talbot Baines Reed
  • I was upon the Styx, and in my rower I recognised the redoubtable Charon.

    The Quadroon Mayne Reid
  • Charon has paddled him off; he has mingled with the crowded republic of the dead.

    Roundabout Papers William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Here he touched an electric button, and Charon came in answer.

    A House-Boat on the Styx John Kendrick Bangs
  • Here Charon stopped his soliloquy and his boat simultaneously.

    A House-Boat on the Styx John Kendrick Bangs
  • “I understood you had something to say to me,” said Charon, after he had greeted the others.

    A House-Boat on the Styx John Kendrick Bangs
  • “Right away,” said Charon, noting by the clock that it was the hour of midnight.

    A House-Boat on the Styx John Kendrick Bangs
British Dictionary definitions for Charon


(Greek myth) the ferryman who brought the dead across the rivers Styx or Acheron to Hades


the only known satellite of Pluto, discovered in 1978
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Charon

ferryman of the dead over the river Styx, from Greek Kharon, of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Charon in Science
The only known moon of Pluto. Charon is just over half Pluto's size and orbits it so closely that it was not discovered as a distinct body until 1978. Although Pluto is covered with methane ice, Charon appears to be covered with water ice.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Charon in Culture
Charon [(kair-uhn)]

In classical mythology, the boatman who carried the souls of the dead across the river Styx and into Hades, the underworld.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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