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heaven Line breaks: heaven
Pronunciation: /ˈhɛv(ə)n/

Definition of heaven in English:


1 (often Heaven) A place regarded in various religions as the abode of God (or the gods) and the angels, and of the good after death, often traditionally depicted as being above the sky: those who practised good deeds would receive the reward of a place in heaven Juno, Queen of Heaven and wife of Jupiter
More example sentences
  • In Heaven he was introduced to Indra, who enrolled him in his heavenly workshops.
  • At his death, he was unable to again access to Heaven because of his meanness.
  • From his position in Heaven above and beyond the universe, God sits not only as creator but also as judge.
paradise, nirvana, the kingdom of heaven, the promised land, the heavenly kingdom, the City of God, the celestial city, the abode of God, the abode of the saints, the abode of the angels, Zion, Abraham's bosom, the empyrean;
the beyond, the hereafter, the next world, the next life, the afterworld, the afterlife;
among American Indianshappy hunting ground;
Christianity the New Jerusalem;
Hinduism Swarga;
Classical Mythology Elysium, the Elysian Fields, the Islands of the Blessed;
Scandinavian Mythology Valhalla;
Arthurian Legend Avalon
1.1God (or the gods): Constantine was persuaded that disunity in the Church was displeasing to heaven
More example sentences
  • But heaven help anyone who writes this line-up off this time next year.
  • But heaven surely knows, that packages and bows can never heal a hurting human soul.
  • And heaven help the sanity of the people who listen to it longer than it takes to switch it off.
1.2 Theology A state of being eternally in the presence of God after death: the everlasting happiness with God that we call heaven
More example sentences
  • I just thought it was a lovely way to describe death and heaven.
  • You may want to talk about any beliefs you have, about what happens after death, such as heaven, or the spiritual part of a person.
  • Do you want reliable answers concerning issues like life, forgiveness, death, heaven or hell?
1.3Used in various exclamations as a substitute for ‘God’: heaven knows! good heavens!
More example sentences
  • Oh Heavens no, I'm just fine.
  • Oh heavens above how dare they create a parallel in a satire between real life and their fictional world!
2 (also the heavens) literary The sky, especially perceived as a vault in which the sun, moon, stars, and planets are situated: Galileo used a telescope to observe the heavens
More example sentences
  • They had seen his star in the heavens and followed it to Jerusalem and then onto Bethlehem.
  • He could never know what she had wished for as the stars fell from the heavens to earth.
  • All of the thirteen kingdoms had been graced with a stone, and a crystal and a star in the heavens.
the sky, the skies, the upper atmosphere, the stratosphere
literary the firmament, the vault of heaven, the blue, the (wide) blue yonder, the welkin, the ether, the empyrean, the azure, the upper regions, the sphere, the celestial sphere
3 informal A place, state, or experience of supreme bliss: lying by the pool with a good book is my idea of heaven
More example sentences
  • The corollary of this is that meditation provides an experience of heaven.
  • No one comes back - face up to what's gong on around you because this is the only heaven or hell you're going to experience.
  • The city was a very heaven for such Beatles and Stones fans, and the experience put a spell on their music that is still audible.
ecstasy, bliss, rapture, contentment, happiness, delight, joy, felicity, supreme happiness, supreme joy, perfect contentment, seventh heaven, cloud nine;
literary Arcadia, Arcady


Old English heofon, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hemel and German Himmel.

  • The ultimate origin of heaven is unknown, although parallel forms exist in related languages. Heaven has always referred both to the sky and to the abode of God, regarded as beyond the sky. In Christian theology there is only one heaven, but some Jewish and Muslim people considered there to be seven, of which the seventh was the highest. There souls enjoyed a state of eternal bliss, and so in seventh heaven came to mean ‘very happy, ecstatic’. See also move, paradise


the heavens open

It suddenly starts to rain very heavily.
Example sentences
  • Suddenly the heavens open up and rain begins to pour from the unforeseen forming clouds.
  • Suddenly the heavens open, and I dive for shelter under a parasol.
  • Come my brother and get warm in the car before the heavens open above us with rain.

in seventh heaven

Very happy; ecstatic: he was in seventh heaven, so excited
More example sentences
  • We've had snow, and the dog is in seventh heaven.
  • Students and teachers at schools throughout Eden and Lune were in seventh heaven as they received their well-earned results after two years of tests, course work and hard slog.
  • I was twelve years old and I was in seventh heaven.
ecstatic, euphoric, thrilled, elated, delighted, overjoyed, on cloud nine/seven, walking/treading on air, jubilant, rapturous, beside oneself with joy, jumping for joy, exultant, transported, delirious, enraptured, blissful, in raptures, like a child with a new toy
informal over the moon, on top of the world, on a high, tickled pink, as pleased as Punch, cock-a-hoop, as happy as a sandboy
British informal as happy as Larry
Northern English informal made up
North American informal as happy as a clam
Australian informal wrapped

move heaven and earth to do something

Make extraordinary efforts to do a specified thing: if he had truly loved her he would have moved heaven and earth to get her back
More example sentences
  • We are duty bound to investigate all possibilities, but I am convinced Stephen was killed, and as such, am moving heaven and earth to try and catch a killer.
  • While the renewable energy industry is moving heaven and earth to meet their targets in the timescale, I feel we will still need a back-up in the short term.
  • Indeed, he would have concluded that he was a particular favourite of the headmaster, whom he might rightly have seen as moving heaven and earth to make excuses on his behalf.
try one's hardest, try as hard as one can, do one's best, do one's utmost, do all one can, give one's all, make every effort, spare no effort, put oneself out;
strive, struggle, exert oneself, work hard, endeavour, try
North American informal do one's darnedest/durnedest
Australian/New Zealand informal go for the doctor

stink (or smell) to high heaven

Have a very strong and unpleasant odour: the quayside stank to high heaven of salt fish
More example sentences
  • Unfortunately, they also stink to high heaven, so you need a pretty strong stomach for that particular activity.
  • It stinks to high heaven and it's cold at the moment.
  • ‘The whole thing stinks to high heaven,’ he said.



Pronunciation: /ˈhɛv(ə)nw(ə)d/
adjective& adverb
Example sentences
  • He took the precious book out of the cow's mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed: ‘It's a miracle!’
  • When all is ready, assemble your guests on the porch or in the garden where the aroma of the juleps will rise heavenward and make the birds sing.
  • Fine, delicate black lines delineate androgynous figures, heads turned heavenward, mouths open.


Pronunciation: /ˈhɛv(ə)nwədz/
Example sentences
  • There's a ghostly atmosphere to the coast, stirred by the mist and dearly departed - either heavenwards or on the Road Services bus to Christchurch.
  • This album may not turn the atheist's gaze heavenwards, but it's music wonderful enough to make anyone believe in the community of the human voice.
  • Then, they saw a thick cloud of smoke whirl heavenwards.

Words that rhyme with heaven

Bevan, Devon, eleven, Evan, leaven, Pleven, seven, Severn

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