See also: heaven


Proper nounEdit


  1. (religion) The abode of God or the gods, when considered as a specific location; the abode of the blessed departed who reside in the presence of God or the gods
    • 1644, Samuel Rutherford, Lex, Rex: The Law and the Prince, V 16
      Conſider firſt that the excommunicated Prelate ſaith... Kings are not immediatly from God, as by any ſpeciall Ordinance ſent from Heaven by the miniſtery of Angels and Prophets, there were but ſome few ſuch, as Moſes, Saul, David, etc.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, I  263
      Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.
    • 2011, Lillian Tseng, Picturing Heaven in Early China, 2
      To grasp the Chinese's notion of Heaven, we must look at the contexts in which tian is used... In the Book of Odes (Shi jing 詩經), which includes poems dated between the eleventh and seventh centuries BCE, tian is a place where the Heavenly Thearch resides.
  2. (religion) Providence, the will of God or the gods, when considered as a personal entity or specific aspect of the divine; Fate
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, I 212
      ...but that the will
      And high permission of all-ruling Heaven
      Left him at large to his own dark designs,
    • 1793, Henry Boyd, Poems, II iv 270
      Heaven commands thine arm
      To lift the sure-destroying sword!
    • 1886 May 8, The Pall Mall Gazette, 1 1
      ...executing the just judgment of offended Heaven upon cattle-houghers, traitors, and assassins.
    • 2011, Lillian Tseng, Picturing Heaven in Early China, 3
      Cosmologists regarded Heaven as a force—composed of qi (), which was divided into yin () and yang () aspects—that kept the cosmos moving.
  3. (uncommon) Other extended senses of heaven as a specific place similar to the abode of God, the gods, or the blessed departed
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, I 254–255
      The mind is its own place, and in it self
      Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
  4. (obsolete) The sky, particularly its distant aspect as the abode of the sun, moon, and stars
    • 1581, George Pettie translating Stefano Guazzo, Ciuile Conuersation, I 26
      Everie...Countrie, by the nature of the place, the climate of the Heaven, and the influence of the starres hath certaine vertues.
    • 1625, Nathanæl Carpenter, Geography delineated forth in two bookes, I iv 77
      The Heauens...are carried in 24 houres from East to West.
  5. (Chinese mythology, semantic translation of ) The supreme God or Nature which controls the universe.
    • 1893, James Legge translating "The Doctrine of the Mean":
      What Heaven has conferred is called the Nature...
    • 2000, Yao Xinzhong, An Introduction to Confucianism, p. 142:
      ...‘Heaven’ as we use it throughout the book is only a convenient but inaccurate translation of the Chinese character tian. Heaven in Chinese religions as well as in the Confucian tradition has multidimensional implications... In its metaphysical and physical connotation, Heaven... refers to... Nature. Applied in the spiritual realm, it signifies an anthropomorphic Lord or a Supreme Being who presides in Heaven, and rules over or governs directly the spiritual and material worlds.
    • 2018, Zhuo Xinping, Religious Faith of the Chinese, p. 58:
      It was not just the sky, but a god with wills and intentions, seen as sovereign of all... In fact, "Tian" was another reverent term to address the supreme god: "Heaven, for the help of the inferior people, made for them rulers, and made for them instructors" ("Great Declaration I" in the Book of History)...
  6. (uncommon) A patronymic surname, from given names derived from Evan
  7. (rare) A female given name from English of modern usage from the noun heaven.


See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit