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  1. a small peninsula in N Egypt, near Alexandria: site of ancient lighthouse built by Ptolemy.
  2. the lighthouse on this peninsula.Compare Seven Wonders of the World.
  3. any lighthouse or beacon to direct sailors.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pharos

Historical Examples

  • Within the castle is the ancient Pharos, or watch-tower, a Roman work.

    England, Picturesque and Descriptive

    Joel Cook

  • Phare is from the island of Pharos where there was a famous lighthouse.

  • The one of real service was the Pharos, or lighthouse, at Alexandria, Egypt.

  • His feelings about Pharos, his partner, and his jugglings, need no description.

    Sophy of Kravonia

    Anthony Hope

  • Pharos makes his passes and goes through the rest of his performance.

    Sophy of Kravonia

    Anthony Hope

British Dictionary definitions for pharos


  1. a large Hellenistic lighthouse built on an island off Alexandria in Egypt in about 280 bc and destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century: usually included among the Seven Wonders of the World
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 pharos



as a word for a lighthouse, 1550s, in reference to the island of Pharos off the coast of Alexandria, on which Ptolemy Philadelphius built a mighty lighthouse.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper