halcyon


halcyon

< /ˌhæl siˈɒn ɪk/.

  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 relating to the halcyon or kingfisher.

noun

  1. 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.
  2. any of various kingfishers, especially of the genus Halcyon.
  3. (initial capital letter) Classical Mythology. Alcyone(def 2).

adjective also: halcyonian (ˌhælsɪˈəʊnɪən), halcyonic (ˌhælsɪˈɒnɪk)

  1. peaceful, gentle, and calm
  2. happy and carefree

noun

  1. Greek myth a fabulous bird associated with the winter solstice
  2. a poetic name for the kingfisher
  3. halcyon days
    1. a fortnight of calm weather during the winter solstice
    2. a period of peace and happiness
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.

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