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[bek-uh n] /ˈbɛk ən/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to signal, summon, or direct by a gesture of the head or hand.
to lure; entice.
a nod, gesture, etc., that signals, directs, summons, indicates agreement, or the like.
before 950; Middle English beknen, Old English gebē(a)cnian, derivative of bēacen beacon
Related forms
beckoner, noun
beckoningly, adverb
unbeckoned, adjective
1. motion, wave, gesture, bid, nod. 2. invite, attract, draw, coax, tempt, tantalize, allure, beguile. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for beckons
  • It's getting to be that time of the year, and the job market beckons.
  • Vocalization on inspiration is what happens when one calls or beckons to another at a distance.
  • Every now and then a small town rises on the horizon and beckons exploration.
  • He wonders if there is a connection, if the wall magically beckons migrants.
  • In one corner, an ice chapel beckons those impulsive and hot-blooded enough to get hitched.
  • There's also a flying bridge for when the craft surfaces and the sun beckons.
  • While others show trepidation before walking down empty corridors, she leads the way and beckons her companions to follow.
  • Tower blocks spring up and the newest mall beckons a new crowd.
  • NO matter the sunshine as summer beckons or the joyful music pouring from the housing project windows.
  • It beckons you, and you'll want to hitch it up every chance you get to go camping.
British Dictionary definitions for beckons


to summon with a gesture of the hand or head
to entice or lure
a summoning gesture
Derived Forms
beckoner, noun
beckoning, adjective, noun
Word Origin
Old English bīecnan, from bēacen sign; related to Old Saxon bōknian; see beacon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for beckons



Old English gebecnian (West Saxon beacnian) "to make a mute sign," derivative of beacen "a sign, beacon," from Proto-Germanic *bauknjan (cf. Old Saxon boknian, Old High German bouhnen), from PIE root *bha- "to shine" (see beacon). Related: Beckoned; beckoning. The noun is attested from 1718, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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