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See also: Halcyon




From Latin halcyōn, alcyōn (kingfisher), from Ancient Greek ἀλκυών (alkuṓn).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈhælsiːən/
  • (file)


halcyon (plural halcyons)

  1. In classical legends, a bird said to nest on the sea, thereby calming the waters; later usually identified with a type of kingfisher, hence (poetic) a kingfisher.
    • 1603, John Florio, transl.; Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in The Essayes, [], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], OCLC 946730821:
      the Halcyon bird, or as some call it Alcedo or Kings-fisher, exceeds all mens conceit. [] Gods decree hath been, that all the watrie wildernesse should be quiet and made calme, without raine, wind, or tempest, during the time the Halcyon sitteth and bringeth forth her young-ones [].
    • 1665, John Dryden, The Indian Emperour, IV iv 132:
      Amidst our arms as quiet you shall be / As halcyons brooding on a winter sea.
    • c.1880, Ambrose Bierce, On a Mountain:
      And, by the way, during those halcyon days (the halcyon was there, too, chattering above every creek, as he is all over the world) we fought another battle.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Dryden
      Amidst our arms as quiet you shall be / As halcyons brooding on a winter sea.
  2. A tropical kingfisher of the genus Halcyon, such as the sacred kingfisher Halcyon sancta of Australia.



halcyon (comparative more halcyon, superlative most halcyon)

  1. Pertaining to the halcyon or kingfisher. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  2. Calm, undisturbed, peaceful, serene.


1787 1842 1919 1963
ME « 15th c. 16th c. 17th c. 18th c. 19th c. 20th c. 21st c.
  • 1787Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers No. 30
    Reflections of this kind may have trifling weight with men who hope to see realized in America the halcyon scenes of the poetic or fabulous age.
  • 1842Thomas de Quincey, Cicero
    • Deep, halcyon repose.
  • 1919H.P. Lovecraft, The City
    I had wander’d in rapture beneath them, and bask’d in the Halcyon clime.
  • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, in The China Governess[1]:
    The huge square box, parquet-floored and high-ceilinged, had been arranged to display a suite of bedroom furniture designed and made in the halcyon days of the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when modish taste was just due to go clean out of fashion for the best part of the next hundred years.


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


halcyōn (kingfisher)

Alternative formsEdit


From Ancient Greek ἀλκυών (alkuṓn, kingfisher).



halcyōn f (genitive halcyonis); third declension

  1. The halcyon; kingfisher.


Third declension.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative halcyōn halcyonēs
Genitive halcyonis halcyonum
Dative halcyonī halcyonibus
Accusative halcyonem halcyonēs
Ablative halcyone halcyonibus
Vocative halcyōn halcyonēs


Related termsEdit