Definition of HALCYON

HALCYON Adjective and Noun

Halcyon can be an adjective or a noun. As an adjective, it describes a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful. As a noun, it refers to a mythical bird, usually identified with the kingfisher, that was said to calm the sea during the winter solstice.

HALCYON as an adjective

As an adjective, halcyon is used to depict a time that is remembered as calm, happy, and peaceful. For example, “She often reminisces about the halcyon days of her childhood,” highlights a nostalgic and serene period in one’s life.

Historical and Literary Usage: The adjective halcyon is often used in historical or literary contexts to describe a golden age or a peaceful era. For example, “The 1960s are often considered a halcyon era for music and cultural change,” indicates a time of significant positive developments and tranquility.

Emotional Connotation: The use of halcyon carries an emotional connotation of longing and warmth, evoking a sense of peace and contentment. For example, “The old photographs brought back memories of halcyon times spent with family,” illustrates the sentimental value of the word.

HALCYON as a noun

As a noun, halcyon refers to a mythical bird, often associated with calmness and tranquility. In ancient mythology, the halcyon was believed to breed during the winter solstice in a nest floating on the sea, which it could calm to protect its nest. For example, “The poet wrote about the halcyon, a bird that symbolized peace and calm,” reflects the mythological and symbolic significance.

Mythological Background: The term halcyon comes from Greek mythology. According to legend, the halcyon bird, identified with the kingfisher, had the power to calm the seas for the safety of its nest. For example, “In ancient myths, the halcyon days were a period of calm weather when the halcyon bird nested on the sea,” explains the origin and meaning of the term.

Modern Symbolism: Today, the word halcyon is often used symbolically to represent peace and tranquility, both in nature and in life experiences. For example, “The calm waters of the lake at sunset brought to mind the legend of the halcyon,” connects the modern use of the term with its mythological roots.

In conclusion, halcyon serves as both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective, it describes a peaceful and happy time in the past. As a noun, it refers to a mythical bird associated with calming the seas. The term carries rich historical, literary, and mythological significance, symbolizing tranquility and serenity.

Examples of HALCYON in a sentence

HALCYON as an adjective in a sentence

  • The vacation provided a halcyon escape from the stresses of everyday life.
  • She reminisced about the halcyon days of her youth spent by the seaside.
  • The company experienced a halcyon period of growth during the economic boom.
  • The garden was a place of halcyon beauty, filled with blooming flowers and chirping birds.
  • The peaceful village exuded a halcyon atmosphere, untouched by the chaos of modern life.
  • Their relationship was like a halcyon dream, filled with love and happiness.
  • The halcyon years of their marriage were marked by prosperity and contentment.
  • Despite the challenges, they remained hopeful for a return to halcyon times.

HALCYON as a noun in a sentence

  • The kingfisher is often associated with halcyon, representing calm and tranquility.
  • In Greek mythology, Alcyone was transformed into a halcyon bird by the gods.
  • The arrival of the first halcyon birds signaled the beginning of spring.
  • Sailors believed that the halcyon had the power to calm the waves during stormy seas.
  • The legend of the halcyon bird inspired tales of peace and serenity in ancient cultures.
  • The halcyon was considered a symbol of good luck and protection by seafarers.
  • The painting depicted a scene of halcyon, with the birds resting peacefully by the water.
  • According to folklore, the halcyon built its nest on the sea during the winter solstice.

Origin of HALCYON

The term halcyon has its etymological roots in Greek and English, providing insights into its linguistic origins.

  • Semantic Context: Halcyon refers to a period of tranquility, calmness, and prosperity, often associated with idyllic or peaceful times.
  • Greek Influence: The term “halcyon” originates from the Greek myth of Alcyone, the daughter of Aeolus, the god of the winds. In Greek mythology, Alcyone and her husband Ceyx were transformed into kingfisher birds, and the “halcyon days” were believed to be the calm and peaceful days around the winter solstice when Alcyone was said to lay her eggs on the sea and calm the winds.
  • English Formation: “Halcyon” was formed in English, borrowing from the Greek mythological figure Alcyone to describe a period of peace, tranquility, or prosperity.
  • Cultural Connotations: Halcyon carries cultural connotations of serenity, tranquility, and nostalgia for a bygone era of peace and prosperity, often evoking idealized or romanticized visions of the past.
  • Usage in Context: “Halcyon” is commonly used in literary, poetic, and metaphorical contexts to describe periods of calmness, tranquility, or happiness, as well as to evoke a sense of nostalgia or longing for an idealized past.

The term halcyon reflects its origins in Greek mythology and its adoption into English, highlighting its significance in describing moments of peace, tranquility, and prosperity, as well as its enduring cultural and literary associations with the mythical figure of Alcyone.


  • Calm
  • Tranquil
  • Peaceful
  • Serene
  • Placid
  • Untroubled
  • Idyllic
  • Tranquility


  • Turbulent
  • Chaotic
  • Stormy
  • Agitated
  • Troubled
  • Disrupted
  • Restless
  • Unsettled


  • Halcyon days
  • Golden age
  • Blissful
  • Harmony
  • Utopian
  • Contentment
  • Reassurance
  • Satisfactory

🌐 🇬🇧 HALCYON in other languages

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