Definition of beacon in English:


Syllabification: bea·con
Pronunciation: /ˈbēkən


  • 1A fire or light set up in a high or prominent position as a warning, signal, or celebration: a chain of beacons carried the news figurative the prospect of a new government was a beacon of hope for millions
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    • But amid the feelings of frustration, one piece of positive news shone out like a beacon of hope.
    • When I saw the sign of The Dolmen Hotel all lit up it was like a beacon of hope to me.
    • That said, Jerome Vareille stood out like a beacon of hope, creating or being on the end of the best of the few chances.
  • 1.1British (Often in place names) a hill suitable for beacon of fire or light: Ivinghoe Beacon the Brecon Beacons
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    • One of the most wonderful walks I have taken was in the Brecon Beacons, Wales.
  • 1.2A light or other visible object serving as a signal, warning, or guide, especially at sea or on an airfield.
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    • Rotating beacons on airfields made their debut in the early 1920s.
    • What is the significance, if any, of the color and location of lights / beacons on airliners or any aircraft?
    • From the late 1970s, constellations of man-made navigation satellites have taken over as beacons to guide the way.
    lighthouse; signal light, signal fire, danger signal, bonfire, warning light, warning fire; spotlight, searchlight
  • 1.3A radio transmitter whose signal helps to fix the position of a ship, aircraft, or spacecraft.
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    • Similar technology is used to track down lost aircraft and yachts through their radio beacons.
    • The news of Corvette 03's shoot down arrived in the JRCC at a busy time; it was a hectic night with numerous reports of aircraft down and emergency beacons being detected.
    • Ships, yachts and aircraft carry emergency beacons which are activated when they come into contact with water, sending a signal on a reserved frequency that identifies the vessel and its approximate location.


Old English bēacn 'sign, portent, ensign'; related to beckon.

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