Definition of halo in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈheɪləʊ/

noun (plural haloes or halos)

1A circle of light shown around or above the head of a saint or holy person to represent their holiness.
Example sentences
  • When used for human figures, the halo represents holiness or sanctity, and its iconography is developed to mark important distinctions between the figures represented.
  • Egyptian sun disks became the halos of Catholic saints.
  • Auras are not to be confused with the aureoles or halos of saints, which are devices of Christian iconography used to depict the radiance of light associated with divine infusion.
1.1The glory associated with an esteemed person: he has lost his halo for many ordinary Russians
More example sentences
  • So a halo appears around my available presence indicator, denoting ‘super interruptible’.
  • Some analysts have even claimed the group of North American fund managers seeking change are ‘greenmailers with halos round their heads’.
  • Gabe and Isaiah fought to look innocent so badly that I could almost see halos floating above their heads.
2A circle of white or coloured light around the sun, moon, or other luminous body caused by refraction through ice crystals in the atmosphere.
Example sentences
  • H.R.Madhusudan, Science Educator at the Planetarium, said ice crystals in the earth's atmosphere caused the solar halo.
  • Blue Moons, Harvest Moons, halos, waxing, waning and lunacy - where do Moon superstitions come from and how many of them have a basis in fact?
  • According to authorities, normal astronomical phenomena such as a solar halo, or the refraction of water are usually reported during the day.

verb (haloes, haloing, haloed)

[with object]
Surround with or as if with a halo: gas lamps haloed in mist
More example sentences
  • The 30-minute flight crosses majestic mountain peaks haloed by rain clouds that feed the waterfalls flowing briskly down their flanks.
  • A head-dress of feathers and birds' wings haloed his head.
  • It was a glorious sunset, all crimson and gold, haloing the bare granite peaks and pine-scattered slopes that trailed down to the desert.


Mid 16th century (denoting a circle of light round the sun etc.): from medieval Latin, from Latin halos, from Greek halōs 'disc of the sun or moon'.

  • This was originally a circle of light such as that around the sun; it came via medieval Latin from Greek halōs which referred to the ‘disc of the sun or moon’. From around the middle of the 17th century, the word came to be applied to the circle of light depicted around Christ's head or those of the saints. Its use for an effect in photography is found from the 1940s.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: halo

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