Definition of beacon in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbiːk(ə)n/


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 her red hair was like a beacon in the night figurative the prospect of a new government was a beacon of hope for millions
More example sentences
  • 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.
1.1 [often in place names] British A hill suitable for a beacon: Ivinghoe Beacon
More example sentences
  • 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 at sea, on an airfield, etc.
Example sentences
  • 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.
warning light/fire, signal light/fire, bonfire, smoke signal, beam, signal, danger signal, guiding light;
rocket, flare, Very light;
lighthouse, light tower, pharos, phare, watchtower
1.3A radio transmitter whose signal helps to fix the position of a ship, aircraft, or spacecraft.
Example sentences
  • 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', of West Germanic origin; related to beckon.

Words that rhyme with beacon

archdeacon, Costa Rican, deacon, Dominican, Mohican, Mozambican, Puerto Rican, weaken
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