halcyon

[hal-see-uhn]
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adjective Also hal·cy·o·ni·an [hal-see-oh-nee-uhn] /ˌhæl siˈoʊ ni ən/, hal·cy·on·ic [hal-see-on-ik] /ˌhæl siˈɒn ɪk/.
  1. calm; peaceful; tranquil: halcyon weather.
  2. rich; wealthy; prosperous: halcyon times of peace.
  3. happy; joyful; carefree: halcyon days of youth.
  4. of or relating to the halcyon or kingfisher.
noun
  1. a mythical bird, usually identified with the kingfisher, said to breed about the time of the winter solstice in a nest floating on the sea, and to have the power of charming winds and waves into calmness.
  2. any of various kingfishers, especially of the genus Halcyon.
  3. (initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. Alcyone(def 2).

Origin of halcyon

1350–1400; < Latin < Greek halkyṓn, pseudo-etymological variant of alkyṓn kingfisher; replacing Middle English alceon, alicion < Latin alcyōn < Greek

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for halcyon

halcyon

adjective also: halcyonian (ˌhælsɪˈəʊnɪən), halcyonic (ˌhælsɪˈɒnɪk)
  1. peaceful, gentle, and calm
  2. happy and carefree
noun
  1. Greek myth a fabulous bird associated with the winter solstice
  2. a poetic name for the kingfisher
  3. halcyon days
    1. a fortnight of calm weather during the winter solstice
    2. a period of peace and happiness

Word Origin for halcyon

C14: from Latin alcyon, from Greek alkuōn kingfisher, of uncertain origin
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 halcyon
adj.

1540s, in halcyon dayes (Latin alcyonei dies, Greek alkyonides hemerai), 14 days of calm weather at the winter solstice, when a mythical bird (identified with the kingfisher) was said to breed in a nest floating on calm seas. From halcyon (n.), late 14c., from Latin halcyon, from Greek halkyon, variant (perhaps a misspelling) of alkyon "kingfisher," from hals "sea, salt" (see halo-) + kyon "conceiving," present participle of kyein "to conceive," literally "to swell," from PIE root *keue- "to swell." Identified in mythology with Halcyone, daughter of Aeolus, who when widowed threw herself into the sea and became a kingfisher.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper