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[hal-see-uh n] /ˈhæl si ən/
adjective, Also, halcyonian
[hal-see-oh-nee-uh n] /ˌhæl siˈoʊ ni ən/ (Show IPA),
[hal-see-on-ik] /ˌhæl siˈɒn ɪk/ (Show IPA)
calm; peaceful; tranquil:
halcyon weather.
rich; wealthy; prosperous:
halcyon times of peace.
happy; joyful; carefree:
halcyon days of youth.
of or relating to the halcyon or kingfisher.
a mythical bird, usually identified with the kingfisher, said to breed about the time of the winter solstice in a nest floating on the sea, and to have the power of charming winds and waves into calmness.
any of various kingfishers, especially of the genus Halcyon.
(initial capital letter) Classical Mythology, Alcyone (def 2).
Origin of halcyon
1350-1400; < Latin < Greek halkyṓn, pseudo-etymological variant of alkyṓn kingfisher; replacing Middle English alceon, alicion < Latin alcyōn < Greek
1. serene, placid, pacific, untroubled. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for halcyon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And now, says he, I hope soon to have an opportunity to begin my operations; since all is halcyon and security.

    Clarissa, Volume 4 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • So it is that seamen love these birds and look for halcyon weather.

    Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew Josephine Preston Peabody
  • Of those who knew him in these halcyon days Walter Andrews alone survives.

    Edgar Saltus: The Man Marie Saltus
  • Since I have mentioned the halcyon, I shall here describe it.

    The History of Louisiana Le Page Du Pratz
  • It is a halcyon day, and with a companion I leave the train and push on for a view of the country.

British Dictionary definitions for halcyon


peaceful, gentle, and calm
happy and carefree
(Greek myth) a fabulous bird associated with the winter solstice
a poetic name for the kingfisher
halcyon days
  1. a fortnight of calm weather during the winter solstice
  2. a period of peace and happiness
Word Origin
C14: from Latin alcyon, from Greek alkuōn kingfisher, of uncertain origin
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 halcyon

1540s, in halcyon dayes (Latin alcyonei dies, Greek alkyonides hemerai), 14 days of calm weather at the winter solstice, when a mythical bird (identified with the kingfisher) was said to breed in a nest floating on calm seas. From halcyon (n.), late 14c., from Latin halcyon, from Greek halkyon, variant (perhaps a misspelling) of alkyon "kingfisher," from hals "sea, salt" (see halo-) + kyon "conceiving," present participle of kyein "to conceive," literally "to swell," from PIE root *keue- "to swell." Identified in mythology with Halcyone, daughter of Aeolus, who when widowed threw herself into the sea and became a kingfisher.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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