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See also: Halcyon
halcyon (plural halcyons)
- (poetic) A kingfisher whose nesting by the sea was said, in classical mythology, to cause the Gods to restrain the wind and waves.
- 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes […], book II, London: […] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], →OCLC:
- 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 […].
- The dead body of such a bird, said in Tudor times to act as a weather vane when hung from a beam.
- c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii]:
- Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their master
- A tropical kingfisher of the genus Halcyon, such as the sacred kingfisher (Halcyon sancta) of Australia.
bird of genus Halcyon
- Pertaining to the halcyon or kingfisher.
- c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii], page 84:
- Renege; affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks / With every gale and vary of their masters,
- (figurative) Calm, undisturbed, peaceful, serene.
- Synonyms: at peace, blissful, calm, peaceful, prelapsarian, relaxed, serene; see also Thesaurus:quiet
- 1842, Thomas De Quincey, Cicero:
- Deep, halcyon repose.
- 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, in The China Governess:
- 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.
- (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈhal.ky.oːn/, [ˈhäɫ̪kyoːn]
- (modern Italianate Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈal.t͡ʃi.on/, [ˈäl̠ʲt͡ʃion]
- (kingfisher, halcyon): alcēdō