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heaven

[hev-uh n] /ˈhɛv ən/
noun
1.
the abode of God, the angels, and the spirits of the righteous after death; the place or state of existence of the blessed after the mortal life.
2.
(initial capital letter). Often, Heavens. the celestial powers; God.
3.
a metonym for God:
May heaven help us!
4.
heavens, (used with a singular verb) a wooden roof or canopy over the outer stage of an Elizabethan theater.
5.
Usually, heavens. the sky, firmament, or expanse of space surrounding the earth.
6.
a place or state of supreme happiness:
She made his life a heaven on earth.
interjection
7.
heavens, (used to express emphasis, surprise, etc.): For heaven's sake!
Good heavens!
Idioms
8.
move heaven and earth, to do one's utmost to effect an end; make a supreme effort:
She promised to move heaven and earth to be there for our wedding anniversary.
Origin of heaven
900
before 900; Middle English heven, Old English heofon; cognate with Middle Low German heven; akin to Old Norse himinn, Gothic himins, German Himmel
Related forms
heavenless, adjective
underheaven, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for heaven
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The earth was like a slumbering babe, smiling in its sleep, because it dreams of heaven.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • May heaven bless you, and permit us to meet again in another world, if not in this!

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • The face of the maid that served him had been no heaven for the souls of dead flowers.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Must all novels end with an earthly marriage, and nothing be left for heaven?

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • But how wonderful and quick my touch has got, and how kind is heaven there, sir!

British Dictionary definitions for heaven

heaven

/ˈhɛvən/
noun
1.
(sometimes capital) (Christianity)
  1. the abode of God and the angels
  2. a place or state of communion with God after death Compare hell
2.
(usually pl) the sky, firmament or space surrounding the earth
3.
(in any of various mythologies) a place, such as Elysium or Valhalla, to which those who have died in the gods' favour are brought to dwell in happiness
4.
a place or state of joy and happiness
5.
(sing) or plural; sometimes capital. God or the gods, used in exclamatory phrases of surprise, exasperation, etc: for heaven's sake, heavens above
6.
in seventh heaven, ecstatically happy
7.
move heaven and earth, to do everything possible (to achieve something)
Word Origin
Old English heofon; related to Old Saxon heban
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 heaven
n.

Old English heofon "home of God," earlier "sky, firmament," probably from Proto-Germanic *hibin-, dissimilated from *himin- (cf. Low German heben, Old Norse himinn, Gothic himins, Old Frisian himul, Dutch hemel, German Himmel "heaven, sky"), perhaps from PIE root *kem-/*kam- "to cover" (cf. chemise). [Watkins derives it elaborately from PIE *ak- "sharp" via *akman- "stone, sharp stone," then "stony vault of heaven"].

Plural use in sense of "sky" is probably from Ptolemaic theory of space composed of many spheres, but it also formerly was used in the same sense as the singular in Biblical language, as a translation of Hebrew plural shamayim. Heaven-sent (adj.) attested from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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heaven in Culture
heaven (or heavens)

The dwelling place of God, the angels, and the souls of those who have gained salvation; a place of the greatest peace and beauty. (Compare hell.)

The American Heritage® 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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Slang definitions & phrases for heaven
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with heaven
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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12
13
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