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halo

[hey-loh]
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noun, plural ha·los, ha·loes.
  1. Also called nimbus. a geometric shape, usually in the form of a disk, circle, ring, or rayed structure, traditionally representing a radiant light around or above the head of a divine or sacred personage, an ancient or medieval monarch, etc.
  2. an atmosphere or quality of glory, majesty, sanctity, or the like: the halo around Shakespeare's works; She put a halo around her son.
  3. Meteorology. any of a variety of bright circles or arcs centered on the sun or moon, caused by the refraction or reflection of light by ice crystals suspended in the earth's atmosphere and exhibiting prismatic coloration ranging from red inside to blue outside (distinguished from corona).
  4. Astronomy. a spherical cloud of gas clusters and stars that form part of a spiral galaxy.
  5. an undesirable bright or dark ring surrounding an image on the fluorescent screen of a television tube, due to some fault either in transmission or reception.
verb (used with object), ha·loed, ha·lo·ing.
  1. to surround with a halo.
verb (used without object), ha·loed, ha·lo·ing.
  1. to form a halo.

Origin of halo

1555–65; < Latin, accusative of halōs circle round sun or moon < Greek hálōs such a circle, disk, orig. threshing floor
Related formsun·ha·loed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for haloes

Historical Examples

  • Haloes may appear around the disc of the sun, moon, or stars.

    The Reason Why

    Anonymous

  • I kind o' used t' think she was all t' th' harps an' haloes.

    The Definite Object

    Jeffery Farnol

  • It was the crowd of haloes that was causing so much brightness.

  • It hunted all the saints in the calendar till their haloes top-sided on their heads-her favourite St. Francis of Assisi excepted.

  • Why, they'd make the very angels jealous, and get pulling off their haloes and kicking them over the edge of heaven.

    Christopher and Columbus

    Countess Elizabeth Von Arnim


British Dictionary definitions for haloes

halo

noun plural -loes or -los
  1. a disc or ring of light around the head of an angel, saint, etc, as in painting or sculpture
  2. the aura surrounding an idealized, famous, or admired person, thing, or event
  3. a circle of light around the sun or moon, caused by the refraction of light by particles of ice
  4. astronomy a spherical cloud of stars surrounding the Galaxy and other spiral galaxies
verb -loes, -los, -loing or -loed
  1. to surround with or form a halo
Derived Formshalo-like, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Medieval Latin, from Latin halōs circular threshing floor, from Greek
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

Word Origin and History for haloes

halo

n.

1560s, from Latin halo (nominative halos), from Greek halos "disk of the sun or moon, ring of light around the sun or moon" (also "threshing floor" and "disk of a shield"), of unknown origin. Sense of "light around the head of a holy person or deity" first recorded 1640s. As a verb from 1801.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

haloes in Medicine

halo

(hālō)
n. pl. ha•los
  1. A reddish yellow ring surrounding the optic disk, caused by an expansion of the scleral ring that makes the deeper structures visible.
  2. Glaucomatous halo.
  3. A ring of light surrounding a luminous body.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

haloes in Science

halo

[hālō]
  1. A hazy ring of colored light in the sky around the Sun, Moon, or a similar bright object. A halo is caused by the reflection and refraction of light through atmospheric ice crystals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.