a guiding or warning signal, as a light or fire, especially one in an elevated position.
a tower or hill used for such purposes.
a lighthouse, signal buoy, etc., on a shore or at a dangerous area at sea to warn and guide vessels.
a radar device at a fixed location that, upon receiving a radar pulse, transmits a reply pulse that enables the original sender to determine his or her position relative to the fixed location.
a person, act, or thing that warns or guides.
a person or thing that illuminates or inspires: The Bible has been our beacon during this trouble.
Digital Technology, web beacon.
verb (used with object)
to serve as a beacon to; warn or guide.
to furnish or mark with beacons: a ship assigned to beacon the shoals.
verb (used without object)
to serve or shine as a beacon: A steady light beaconed from the shore.

before 950; Middle English beken, Old English bēacen sign, signal; cognate with Old Frisian bāken, Old Saxon bōkan, Old High German bouhhan

beaconless, adjective
unbeaconed, adjective

1. beam, buoy, pharos; signal fire; balefire. Unabridged


a city in SE New York. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
beacon (ˈbiːkən)
1.  a signal fire or light on a hill, tower, etc, esp one used formerly as a warning of invasion
2.  a hill on which such fires were lit
3.  a lighthouse, signalling buoy, etc, used to warn or guide ships in dangerous waters
4.  short for radio beacon
5.  a radio or other signal marking a flight course in air navigation
6.  short for Belisha beacon
7.  a person or thing that serves as a guide, inspiration, or warning
8.  a stone set by a surveyor to mark a corner or line of a site boundary, etc
9.  to guide or warn
10.  (intr) to shine
[Old English beacen sign; related to Old Frisian bāken, Old Saxon bōcan, Old High German bouhhan]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. beacen "sign, portent, lighthouse," from W.Gmc. *bauknan (cf. O.Fris. baken, O.S. bokan, O.H.G. bouhhan); not found outside Germanic. Perhaps borrowed from L. bucina "a crooked horn or trumpet, signal horn." But more likely from PIE *bhau-, a variant of the base *bha- "to gleam, shine" (see
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Beacon definition

a pole (Heb. to'ren) used as a standard or ensign set on the tops of mountains as a call to the people to assemble themselves for some great national purpose (Isa. 30:17). In Isa. 33:23 and Ezek. 27:5, the same word is rendered "mast." (See Banner.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


city, Dutchess county, southeastern New York, U.S. It lies at the foot of Mount Beacon, on the east bank of the Hudson River (there bridged to Newburgh), 58 miles (93 km) north of New York City. It became a city when the 17th-century villages of Matteawan and Fishkill Landing were united in 1913. The name was inspired by the fires that blazed atop Mount Beacon during the American Revolution to warn George Washington of British troop movements; the mountain was later a resort, and the Mount Beacon Incline Railway (operated 1901-72) ascended its west spur (1,540 feet [469 metres] above the river). Industrialization began after the War of 1812 when businessman John Jacob Astor and others built a cotton mill and foundry. Manufactures include clothing, hats, countertops, and rubber fabricated products; the city also is the home of one of the world's largest art foundries. Madam Brett Homestead (1709) in Beacon and Van Wyck Homestead (1732; site of courts-martial during the American Revolution) in nearby Fishkill are preserved as museums. Pop. (1990) 13,243; (2000) 13,808.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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