[hev-uh n]



heavens, (used to express emphasis, surprise, etc.): For heaven's sake! Good heavens!


    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

before 900; Middle English heven, Old English heofon; cognate with Middle Low German heven; akin to Old Norse himinn, Gothic himins, German Himmel
Related formsheav·en·less, adjectiveun·der·heav·en, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for heavens

Contemporary Examples of heavens

Historical Examples of heavens

  • They studied the heavens and named the twelve signs of the Zodiak.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • I did not know what to make of my life because the Holder of the Heavens had not revealed himself to me.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • I had the power of a Shaman, though the Holder of the Heavens had not yet spoken to me.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • That is how it is when the Holder of the Heavens shows Himself to his children.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Heavens, that was seven days, and every day had at least sixteen waking hours.

British Dictionary definitions for heavens



(sometimes capital) Christianity
  1. the abode of God and the angels
  2. a place or state of communion with God after deathCompare hell
(usually plural) the sky, firmament or space surrounding the earth
(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
a place or state of joy and happiness
(singular or plural; sometimes capital) God or the gods, used in exclamatory phrases of surprise, exasperation, etcfor heaven's sake; heavens above
in seventh heaven ecstatically happy
move heaven and earth to do everything possible (to achieve something)

Word Origin for heaven

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

Word Origin and History for heavens

"realm of the heavenly bodies," 1670s, from heaven.



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

heavens in Culture


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

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.

Idioms and Phrases with heavens


In addition to the idioms beginning with heaven

  • heaven knows
  • heavenly days

also see:

  • for one's (heaven's) sake
  • god (heaven) forbid
  • god (heaven) knows
  • in seventh heaven
  • in the name of (heaven)
  • manna from heaven
  • move heaven and earth
  • pennies from heaven
  • seventh heaven
  • stink to high heaven
  • thank god (heaven)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.