[ hey-loh ]
See synonyms for halo on Thesaurus.com
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 "profession" of a medieval lord cast a halo around him and made him a ruler of men.

  1. 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).

  2. Astronomy. a spherical cloud of gas clusters and stars that form part of a spiral galaxy.

  3. any of various other things resembling a halo, especially a lighter or differently colored area surrounding an object: I think the scab was from some kind of bite, and now there's a halo around it with bruising.

  4. Also called Cellini's halo . Heiligenschein.

  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

First recorded in 1555–65; from Latin, accusative of halōs “circle around the sun or moon,” from Greek hálōs “threshing floor; grain on a threshing floor; shield; halo”

Other words from halo

  • un·ha·loed, adjective

Other definitions for halo- (2 of 2)


  1. a combining form meaning “salt,” used in the formation of compound words (halophyte); sometimes specialized as a combining form of halogen (halothane).

Origin of halo-

<Greek, combining form of háls salt
  • Also especially before a vowel, hal-.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use halo in a sentence

  • Hence the reason of the prognostics of bad weather commonly drawn from the appearance of halos.

    The Rain Cloud | Anonymous
  • Sometimes one only is visible, and at others several concentric halos appear at the same time.

  • But alas, there are no marks or indications of wings or halos on either the great saints or scientists of the day.

    The Other Side of Evolution | Alexander Patterson
  • A man sits in his pew, hearing about harps and halos and hymns, and when it's all over he goes home and puts on his old wrapper.

    The Crow's Nest | Clarence Day, Jr.
  • He looked thinner and paler; his eyes were sunken, and encircled by dark halos, telling of night revels and morning headaches.

British Dictionary definitions for halo (1 of 2)


/ (ˈheɪləʊ) /

nounplural -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

  1. a circle of light around the sun or moon, caused by the refraction of light by particles of ice

  2. 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

Origin of halo

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

Derived forms of halo

  • halo-like, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for halo- (2 of 2)


combining form
  1. indicating salt or the sea: halophyte

  2. relating to or containing a halogen: halothane

Origin of halo-

from Greek hals, hal- sea, salt

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

Scientific definitions for halo


[ ]

  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.