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See also: Heavens



  • IPA(key): /ˈhɛvənz/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: heav‧ens



  1. plural of heaven



  1. (often with 'the') The distant sky of the sun, moon, and stars.
    • 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.
    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.
  2. (religion) plural of heaven: the abode of God or the gods; the abode of the blessed departed.
    • 1832, Charles Coleman, The Mythology of the Hindus, XIII 220:
      Like the Buddhas, they [the Jains] believe that there is a plurality of heavens and hells.
    • 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.
  3. (rare) plural of heaven: the near sky of the weather, etc.
  4. (rare) plural of heaven the will of God or the gods, Providence.

Usage notes[edit]

The plural form "heavens" or "the heavens" has been typical in reference to the impersonal sky since the 17th century. The plural form became less common in reference to the abode of God, the gods, or the blessed departed as the medieval view of celestial spheres was disproven; it is still commonly used, however, in discussing theologies such as Buddhism which retain numerous heavens or levels of heaven.

The term is capitalized as Heavens or "the Heavens" when (infrequently) used as a proper name.




  1. An expression of surprise, contempt, outrage, disgust, boredom, or frustration.
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter IX, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 24962326:
      Heavens!” exclaimed Nina, “the blue-stocking and the fogy!—and yours are pale blue, Eileen!—you’re about as self-conscious as Drina—slumping there with your hair tumbling à la Mérode! Oh, it's very picturesque, of course, but a straight spine and good grooming is better. []


Derived terms[edit]