[kair-uh n, kar-]


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 formsCha·ro·ni·an [kuh-roh-nee-uh n] /kəˈroʊ ni ən/, Cha·ron·ic [kuh-ron-ik] /kəˈrɒn ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for charon

Contemporary Examples of charon

Historical Examples of charon

  • 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

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

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

Science definitions for charon



The largest of Pluto's three moons. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for charon



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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.