heaven

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: Heaven

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has articles on:

Wikipedia en

Etymology[edit]

From a wide variety of Middle English forms including hevin, heuen, and hewin (heaven, sky), from Old English heofon (heaven, sky), of uncertain origin.[1]

Cognate with Low German hēven (heaven, sky), Old Saxon heƀan (heaven, sky), and possibly the rare Old Norse hifinn, probably dissimilated forms of the Germanic root which appears in Old Norse himinn (heaven, sky), Gothic 𐌷𐌹𐌼𐌹𐌽𐍃 (himins, heaven, sky), Old Swedish himin, Old Danish himæn and probably also (in another variant form) Old Saxon himil, Old Dutch himil (modern Dutch hemel), and Old High German himil (German Himmel).[1]

Accepting these as cognates, some scholars propose a further derivation from Proto-Germanic *himinaz[2] or *himilaz (cover, heaven, sky), from Proto-Indo-European *k(')emen- (sky, heaven),[2] from Proto-Indo-European *ḱem- (cover, shroud).[2] Such a derivation would make the word cognate with shame.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

heaven (plural heavens)

  1. The sky, specifically:
    1. (dated, now usually plural) The distant sky in which the sun, moon, and stars appear or move; the firmament; the celestial spheres.
      • c. 1000, Beowulf, 1571–2
        efne swa of hefene    hadre scineð
        rodores candel.
      • 1535, Coverdale Bible, Ecclesiastes III 1
        All that is vnder the heauen.
      • 1585, Thomas Washington translating Nicholas de Nicolay, The nauigations, peregrinations and voyages, made into Turkie by Nicholas Nicholay, I vi 4
        The ordinaunce...made such a great noyse and thunderyng that it seemed the heaven would have fallen.
      • 1594, Thomas Blundeville, M. Blundeuile his Exercises, I iii 136
        In ascending orderly vpwardes...The first is the Spheare of the Moone...The seuenth the Spheare of Saturne, The eight the Spheare of the fixed Starres, commonly called the firmament. The ninth is called the second moueable or Christall heauen, The tenth is called the first moueable, and the eleuenth is called the Emperiall heauen, where God and his Angels are said to dwell.
      • c. 1594, William Shakespeare, The Comedie of Errors, I i 66
        What obscured light the heauens did grant.
      • 1625, Nathanæl Carpenter, Geography delineated forth in two bookes, I iv 77
        The Heauens...are carried in 24 houres from East to West.
      • 1656, Thomas Stanley, The History of Philosophy, II v 74
        Stars and constellations; some fixed for the Ornament of Heaven
      1930 March, Nature, 179 2
      The moon's path lies in that belt of the heavens known as the zodiac.
      • 1981, E.R. Harrison, Cosmology, XII 250
        In an infinite...universe the stars would collectively outshine the Sun and flood the heavens with light far more intense than is observed.
      • 2006, Peter Carroll translating a maxim of the Southern Song dynasty in Between Heaven and Modernity: Reconstructing Suzhou, 1895–1937
        Above is Heaven, Below are Suzhou and Hangzhou
    2. (obsolete) The near sky in which weather, flying animals, &c. appear; (obsolete) the atmosphere; the climate
      c. 1597, William Shakespeare, The comicall Historie of the Merchant of Venice, IV i
      The qualitie of mercie is not ſtraind,
      it droppeth as the gentle raine from heauen
      vpon the place beneath
      • 1660, George Mackenzie, Religio Stoici, II 44
        Fellow-believers...fed the birds of heaven with the carcases of pious and reverend Church-men.
    3. (obsolete) A model displaying the movement of the celestial bodies, an orrery
      • 1600, Thomas Nashe, Summers Last Will
        Euery man cannot, with Archimedes, make a heauen of brasse.
  2. (religion) The abode of God or the gods, traditionally conceived as beyond the sky, specifically:
    1. (Christianity, usually capitalized) The abode of God and of the angels and saints in His presence
      1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, I 263
      Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.
      • 1906 July 30, Washington Post, 12 4
        Christ's coming from the heavens has entered into the life of humanity as the Founder of the world to come.
    2. (religion, by extension, often capitalized) The abode of God in Islam; similar abodes of the gods in other religions and traditions, such as Mount Olympus
      1594, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, IV iii 41
      With Ioue in heauen, or some where else.
      • 1649, Alexander Ross translating the Sieur Du Ryer, The Alcoran Of Mahomet, Translated out of the Arabique into French... newly Englished, 406
        As he [sc. Muhammad] was returning, in the fourth Heaven, Moses advised him to goe back to God.
      • 1832, Charles Coleman, The Mythology of the Hindus, XIII 220
        Like the Buddhas, they [sc. the Jains] believe that there is a plurality of heavens and hells.
      • 1841, Mountstuart Elphinstone, The History of India, I ii iv 169
        The heaven of Siva is in the midst of the eternal snows and glaciers of Keilás, one of the highest and deepest groups of the stupendous summits of Hémaláya.
      • 2011, Lillian Tseng, Picturing Heaven in Early China, 2
        To grasp the Chinese's notion of Heaven, we must look at the contexts in which tian is used... In the Book of Odes (Shi jing 詩經), which includes poems dated between the eleventh and seventh centuries BCE, tian is a place where the Heavenly Thearch resides.
    3. (by extension, usually capitalized) Providence, the will of God or the council of the gods; fate
  3. (religion) The afterlife of the blessed dead, traditionally conceived as opposed to an afterlife of the wicked and unjust (cf. hell), specifically:
    1. (Christianity) The afterlife of the souls who are not sent to a place of punishment or purification such as hell, purgatory, or limbo; the state or condition of being in the presence of God after death
    2. (religion, by extension, often capitalized) The afterlife of the blessed dead in Islam and in other religions and traditions, such as the Pure Land or Elysium
      • 2011, Lillian Tseng, Picturing Heaven in Early China, 3
        The belief in ascending to Heaven after death became widespread in the Han dynasty.
    3. (by extension) Any paradise; any blissful place or experience
      1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, I 254–255
      The mind is its own place, and in it self
      Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
      • 1782, F. Burney, Cecilia, I iii iv 51
        Such a shop as that...would be quite a heaven upon earth to me.
      • 1940, H.G. Wells, Babes in Darkling Wood, II iii 198
        They thought strikes and hunger marches the quintessence of politics and Soviet Russia heaven on earth.
    4. (by extension) A state of bliss; a peaceful ecstasy
      1809 October 26, William Wordsworth, Friend, 163
      Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!
    5. (informal, with a modifier) Similarly blissful afterlives, places, or states for particular people, animals, or objects
      • 1867, J.W. De Forest, Miss Ravenel's Conversion, XXVI 368
        Perhaps it has gone to the dog heaven, and is wagging somewhere in glory.
      • 1879 February, J. H. Payne, Scribner's Monthly, 470 2
        His pet name for Easthampton is ‘Goose-heaven’, and he harps upon the idea eternally.
      • 1908 October 5, Chicago Tribune, 3 1
        One gray beard who found the gates closed shinned up the fifteen foot fence...and dropped into the baseball heaven he was seeking.
      • 1972, M. Sanders, Flash
        The Dave Clark 5 deserve a place in Rock & Roll Heaven right along there beside Question Mark & The Mysterians, the Standells, Count Five, the Troggs, and the Music Machine.
      • 1986 February 3, Newsweek, 70
        The building was once a candy factory, which makes it, Frazier says, mouse heaven.
      • 2003 August 1, Church Times, 28 3
        Ricky bumps it into the garden, and tells me it is going to ‘the cooker heaven’. ‘Where it will be this size,’ adds his wife, her hands making the size of a brick. She means that it is off to the squasher.
      2004 July 17, Western Mail (Cardiff), 15
      Goronwy has gone to goldfish heaven where he is swimming in a beautiful clear blue ocean with all the other fishies.

Usage notes[edit]

Frequently capitalized as Heaven in all senses when regarded as a proper name.

When used as a synonym for the impersonal sky, typically plural "heavens" or "the heavens" since the 17th century except in poetry.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

heaven (third-person singular simple present heavens, present participle heavening, simple past and past participle heavened)[3]

  1. (obsolete) To transport to the abode of God, the gods, or the blessed
    • 1614, Thomas Adams, The divells banket described in sixe sermons, II 81
      He heauens himselfe on earth, & for a litle pelfe cousens himselfe of blisse.
  2. (obsolete) To beatify, enchant, or please greatly
    • 1924 April 13, Observer, 12 4
      They [sc. Byron's Tales]...enraptured the public and heavened Murray.
  3. (obsolete) To beautify, to make into a paradise

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Oxford English Dictionary. "Heaven, n."
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gerhard Köbler, Altenglisches Wörterbuch, entry "heofon"
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. "Heaven, v."