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halcyon

[hal-see-uh n] /ˈhæl si ən/
adjective, Also, halcyonian
[hal-see-oh-nee-uh n] /ˌhæl siˈoʊ ni ən/ (Show IPA),
halcyonic
[hal-see-on-ik] /ˌhæl siˈɒn ɪk/ (Show IPA)
1.
calm; peaceful; tranquil:
halcyon weather.
2.
rich; wealthy; prosperous:
halcyon times of peace.
3.
happy; joyful; carefree:
halcyon days of youth.
4.
of or pertaining to the halcyon or kingfisher.
noun
5.
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.
6.
any of various kingfishers, especially of the genus Halcyon.
7.
(initial capital letter) Classical Mythology, Alcyone (def 2).
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; < Latin < Greek halkyṓn, pseudo-etymological variant of alkyṓn kingfisher; replacing Middle English alceon, alicion < Latin alcyōn < Greek
Synonyms
1. serene, placid, pacific, untroubled.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for halcyon
  • As a matter of fact, the Hearst empire itself was long past the halcyon days of the 1920s.
  • He ascended to stardom in the 1940's, at the start of ventriloquism's halcyon days.
  • Despite the years since their halcyon youth, they made brave efforts to dance.
  • Those were the halcyon years, when I could match a company's quid with our quo.
  • The new aircraft ordered in the halcyon days of an upswing will arrive—and have to be paid for—in the depths of a cyclical slump.
  • We are a much wealthier nation now than in even the halcyon year of 1960.
  • The halcyon days of terrestrial radio are over.
  • The halcyon era ended abruptly one night last week after a Hanukkah party, as my husband washed dishes.
  • It first dates back to the halcyon days of ancient Greece and even beyond, and there have been many forms of democracy since then.
  • The halcyon days for unions took place almost entirely in markets protected by regulation and trade barriers.
British Dictionary definitions for halcyon

halcyon

/ˈhælsɪən/
adjective
1.
peaceful, gentle, and calm
2.
happy and carefree
noun
3.
(Greek myth) a fabulous bird associated with the winter solstice
4.
a poetic name for the kingfisher
5.
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
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Word Origin and History for halcyon
adj.

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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