halcyon

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See also: Halcyon

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin halcyōn, alcyōn (kingfisher), from Ancient Greek ἀλκυών (alkuṓn).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈhælsiːən/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

halcyon (plural halcyons)

  1. (poetic) A kingfisher said in classical mythology to nest on the sea, thereby calming the waters.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book II, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], OCLC 946730821:
      the Halcyon bird, or as some call it Alcedo or Kings-fisher, exceeds all mens conceit. [] Gods decree hath been, that all the watrie wildernesse should be quiet and made calme, without raine, wind, or tempest, during the time the Halcyon sitteth and bringeth forth her young-ones [].
    • 1665, John Dryden, The Indian Emperour [][1], London: Printed by J.M. for H. Herringman, published 1667, Act IV, scene iv, page 51:
      Amidſt our Arms as quiet you ſhall be / As Halcyons Brooding on a Winter Sea.
    • c. 1880, Ambrose Bierce, On a Mountain:
      And, by the way, during those halcyon days (the halcyon was there, too, chattering above every creek, as he is all over the world) we fought another battle.
    1. The dead body of such a bird, said in Tudor times to act as a weather vane when hung from a beam.
  2. A tropical kingfisher of the genus Halcyon, such as the sacred kingfisher (Halcyon sancta) of Australia.

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

halcyon (comparative more halcyon, superlative most halcyon)

  1. Pertaining to the halcyon or kingfisher.
  2. (figuratively) Calm, undisturbed, peaceful, serene.
    Synonyms: at peace, blissful, calm, peaceful, prelapsarian, relaxed, serene; see also Thesaurus:quiet
    • 1787, Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers No. 30:
      Reflections of this kind may have trifling weight with men who hope to see realized in America the halcyon scenes of the poetic or fabulous age.
    • 1842, Thomas De Quincey, Cicero:
      Deep, halcyon repose.
    • 1919, H.P. Lovecraft, The City:
      I had wander’d in rapture beneath them, and bask’d in the Halcyon clime.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, in The China Governess[2]:
      The huge square box, parquet-floored and high-ceilinged, had been arranged to display a suite of bedroom furniture designed and made in the halcyon days of the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when modish taste was just due to go clean out of fashion for the best part of the next hundred years.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]


Latin[edit]

halcyōn (kingfisher)

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek ἀλκυών (alkuṓn, kingfisher).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

halcyōn f (genitive halcyonis); third declension

  1. The halcyon; kingfisher.

Declension[edit]

Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative halcyōn halcyonēs
Genitive halcyonis halcyonum
Dative halcyonī halcyonibus
Accusative halcyonem halcyonēs
Ablative halcyone halcyonibus
Vocative halcyōn halcyonēs

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]