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From Middle English beknen, becnen, beknien, from Old English bēacnian, bēcnian, bīecnan (to signal; beckon), from Proto-Germanic *bauknōną, *bauknijaną (to signal), from *baukną (signal; beacon). Cognate with Old Saxon bōknian, Old High German bouhnen, Old Norse bákna. More at beacon.



beckon (third-person singular simple present beckons, present participle beckoning, simple past and past participle beckoned)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To wave and/or to nod to somebody with the intention to make the person come closer.
    • Dryden
      His distant friends, he beckons near.
    • Shakespeare
      It beckons you to go away with it.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To seem attractive and inviting



beckon (plural beckons)

  1. A sign made without words; a beck.
    • Bolingbroke
      At the first beckon.
  2. A children's game similar to hide and seek in which children who have been "caught" may escape if they see another hider beckon to them.