Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Heaven

Heav′en

(hĕv′’n)
,
Noun.
[OE.
heven
,
hefen
,
heofen
, AS.
heofon
; akin to OS.
hevan
, LG.
heben
,
heven
, Icel.
hifinn
; of uncertain origin, cf. D.
hemel
, G.
himmel
, Icel.
himmin
, Goth.
himins
; perh. akin to, or influenced by, the root of E.
heave
, or from a root signifying
to cover
, cf. Goth.
gahamōn
to put on, clothe one’s self, G.
hemd
shirt, and perh. E.
chemise
.]
1.
The expanse of space surrounding the earth; esp., that which seems to be over the earth like a great arch or dome; the firmament; the sky; the place where the sun, moon, and stars appear; – often used in the plural in this sense.
I never saw the
heavens
so dim by day.
Shakespeare
When my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the sun in
heaven
.
D. Webster.
2.
The dwelling place of the Deity; the abode of bliss; the place or state of the blessed after death.
Unto the God of love, high
heaven's
King.
Spenser.
It is a knell
That summons thee to
heaven
or to hell.
Shakespeare
New thoughts of God, new hopes of
Heaven
.
Keble.
☞ In this general sense heaven and its corresponding words in other languages have as various definite interpretations as there are phases of religious belief.
Her prayers, whom
Heaven
delights to hear.
Shakespeare
The will
And high permission of all-ruling
Heaven
.
Milton.
4.
Any place of supreme happiness or great comfort; perfect felicity; bliss; a sublime or exalted condition;
as, a
heaven
of delight
.
“A heaven of beauty.”
Shak.
“The brightest heaven of invention.”
Shak.
O bed! bed! delicious bed!
That
heaven
upon earth to the weary head!
Hood.
Heaven is very often used, esp. with participles, in forming compound words, most of which need no special explanation; as, heaven-appeasing, heaven-aspiring, heaven-begot, heaven-born, heaven-bred, heaven-conducted, heaven-descended, heaven-directed, heaven-exalted, heaven-given, heaven-guided, heaven-inflicted, heaven-inspired, heaven-instructed, heaven-kissing, heaven-loved, heaven-moving, heaven-protected, heaven-taught, heaven-warring, and the like.

Heav′en

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Heavened
(hĕv′’nd)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Heavening
.]
To place in happiness or bliss, as if in heaven; to beatify.
[R.]
We are happy as the bird whose nest
Is
heavened
in the hush of purple hills.
G. Massey.

Webster 1828 Edition


Heaven

HEAVEN

,
Noun.
hev'n.
1.
The region or expanse which surrounds the earth, and which appears above and around us, like an immense arch or vault, in which are seen the sun, moon and stars.
2.
Among christians, the part of space in which the omnipresent Jehovah is supposed to afford more sensible manifestations of his glory. Hence this is called the habitation of God, and is represented as the residence of angels and blessed spirits. Deut.26.
The sanctified heart loves heaven for its purity, and God for his goodness.
3.
Among pagans, the residence of the celestial gods.
4.
The sky or air; the region of the atmosphere; or an elevated place; in a very indefinite sense. Thus we speak of a mountain reaching to heaven; the fowls of heaven; the clouds of heaven; hail or rain from heaven. Jer.9. Job.35.
Their cities are walled to heaven. Deut.1.
5.
The Hebrews acknowledged three heavens; the air or aerial heavens; the firmament in which the stars are supposed to be placed; and the heaven of heavens, or third heaven, the residence of Jehovah.
6.
Modern philosophers divide the expanse above and around the earth into two parts,the atmosphere or aerial heaven, and the etherial heaven beyond the region of the air, in which there is supposed to be a thin, unresisting medium called ether.
7.
The Supreme Power; the Sovereign of heaven; god; as prophets sent by heaven.
I have sinned against heaven. Luke 15.
Shun the impious profaneness which scoffs at the institution of heaven.
8.
The pagan deities; celestials.
And show the heavens more just.
9.
Elevation; sublimity.
O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention.
10. Supreme felicity; great happiness.

Definition 2021


Heaven

Heaven

See also: heaven

English

Proper noun

Heaven

  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
    1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, I263
    Better to reign in ****, 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, I212
      ...The will
      And high permission of all-ruling Heaven.
    • 1793, Henry Boyd, Poems, IIiv270
      Heaven commands thine arm
      To lift the sure-destroying sword!
    • 1886 May 8, The Pall Mall Gazette, 11
      ...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 forcecomposed of qi , which was divided into yin and yang aspectsthat 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, I254255
      The mind is its own place, and in it self
      Can make a Heav'n of ****, a **** 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, I26
      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, Iiv77
      The Heauens...are carried in 24 houres from East to West.
  5. (uncommon) A patronymic surname derived from Evan
  6. (rare) A female given name of modern usage from the noun heaven.

Translations

See also

Anagrams

heaven

heaven

See also: Heaven

English

Noun

heaven (countable and uncountable, plural heavens)

  1. The sky, specifically:
    1. (dated, now usually plural) The distant sky in which the sun, moon, and stars appear or move; the firmament; the celestial spheres.
      • 1535, Coverdale Bible, Ecclesiastes III 1:
        All that is vnder the heauen.
      • 1585, Thomas Washington translating Nicholas de Nicolay, The nauigations, peregrinations and voyages, made into Turkie by Nicholas Nicholay, I vi 4:
        The ordinaunce...made such a great noyse and thunderyng that it seemed the heaven would have fallen.
      • 1594, Thomas Blundeville, M. Blundeuile his Exercises, I iii 136:
        In ascending orderly vpwardes...The first is the Spheare of the Moone...The seuenth the Spheare of Saturne, The eight the Spheare of the fixed Starres, commonly called the firmament. The ninth is called the second moueable or Christall heauen, The tenth is called the first moueable, and the eleuenth is called the Emperiall heauen, where God and his Angels are said to dwell.
      • c. 1594, William Shakespeare, The Comedie of Errors, I i 66:
        What obscured light the heauens did grant.
      • 1625, Nathanæl Carpenter, Geography delineated forth in two bookes, I iv 77:
        The Heauens...are carried in 24 houres from East to West.
      • 1656, Thomas Stanley, The History of Philosophy, II v 74:
        Stars and constellations; some fixed for the Ornament of Heaven
      • 1930 March, Nature, 179 2:
        The moon's path lies in that belt of the heavens known as the zodiac.
      • 1981, E.R. Harrison, Cosmology, XII 250:
        In an infinite...universe the stars would collectively outshine the Sun and flood the heavens with light far more intense than is observed.
      • 2006, Peter Carroll translating a maxim of the Southern Song dynasty in Between Heaven and Modernity: Reconstructing Suzhou, 18951937:
        Above is Heaven, Below are Suzhou and Hangzhou
    2. (obsolete) The near sky in which weather, flying animals, etc. appear; (obsolete) the atmosphere; the climate.
    3. (obsolete) A model displaying the movement of the celestial bodies, an orrery.
      • 1600, Thomas Nashe, Summers Last Will:
        Euery man cannot, with Archimedes, make a heauen of brasse.
  2. (religion) The abode of God or the gods, traditionally conceived as beyond the sky; especially:
    1. (Christianity, usually capitalized) The abode of God and of the angels and saints in His presence.
    2. (religion, by extension, often capitalized) The abode of the Abrahamic God; similar abodes of the gods in other religions and traditions, such as Mount Olympus.
      • c. 1379,, Geoffrey Chaucer, The House of Fame, 164:
        Venus...Doun fro the heven gan descende.
      • c. 1382, Wycliffe's Bible, Jeremiah VII 18:
        Thei make sweete cakis to the quen of heuene [Astarte]
      • 1594, William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, IV iii 41:
        With Ioue in heauen, or some where else.
      • 1649, Alexander Ross translating the Sieur Du Ryer, The Alcoran Of Mahomet, Translated out of the Arabique into French... newly Englished, 406:
        As he [Muhammad] was returning, in the fourth Heaven, Moses advised him to goe back to God.
      • 1832, Charles Coleman, The Mythology of the Hindus, XIII 220:
        Like the Buddhas, they [the Jains] believe that there is a plurality of heavens and hells.
      • 1841, Mountstuart Elphinstone, The History of India, I ii iv 169:
        The heaven of Siva is in the midst of the eternal snows and glaciers of Keilás, one of the highest and deepest groups of the stupendous summits of Hémaláya.
      • 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.
    3. (by extension, usually capitalized) Providence, the will of God or the council of the gods; fate.
      • c. 1604, William Shakespeare, All's Well, that Ends Well, III iv:
        ...he cannot thriue,
        Vnlesse her prayers, whom heauen delights to heare
        And loues to grant, repreeue him from the wrath
        Of greatest Iustice.
      • 1611, King James Bible, Daniel iv 26:
        After that thou shalt haue knowen that the heauens doe rule.
      • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, I 212:
        ...The will
        And high permission of all-ruling Heaven.
      • 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.
      • 1992, W.S. Wilson translating E. Yoshikawa, Taiko, II 186:
        There's nothing we can do but pray to heaven for good luck.
      • 2011, Lillian Tseng, Picturing Heaven in Early China, 3:
        Cosmologists regarded Heaven as a forcecomposed of qi , which was divided into yin and yang aspectsthat kept the cosmos moving.
  3. (religion) The afterlife of the blessed dead, traditionally conceived as opposed to an afterlife of the wicked and unjust (compare ****); specifically:
    1. (Christianity, Islam) The afterlife of the souls who are not sent to a place of punishment or purification such as ****, purgatory, or limbo; the state or condition of being in the presence of God after death.
    2. (religion, by extension, often capitalized) The afterlife of the blessed dead in other religions and traditions, such as the Pure Land or Elysium.
      • 2011, Lillian Tseng, Picturing Heaven in Early China, 3:
        The belief in ascending to Heaven after death became widespread in the Han dynasty.
    3. (by extension) Any paradise; any blissful place or experience.
      • c. 1378, William Langland, Piers Plowman, B x 300:
        If heuene be on þis erthe...It is in cloistere or in scole.
      • 1600, William Shakespeare, A Midsommer Nights Dreame, II i 243:
        Ile follow thee and make a heauen of ****.
      • 1660 November 14, a speech in the House of Commons in W. Cobbett, Parl. Hist. (1808), IV 145:
        England, that was formerly the heaven, would be now the **** for women.
      • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, I 254255:
        The mind is its own place, and in it self
        Can make a Heav'n of ****, a **** of Heav'n.
      • 1782, F. Burney, Cecilia, I iii iv 51:
        Such a shop as that...would be quite a heaven upon earth to me.
      • 1940, H.G. Wells, Babes in Darkling Wood, II iii 198:
        They thought strikes and hunger marches the quintessence of politics and Soviet Russia heaven on earth.
    4. (by extension) A state of bliss; a peaceful ecstasy.
    5. (informal, with a modifier) Similarly blissful afterlives, places, or states for particular people, animals, or objects.
      • 1867, J.W. De Forest, Miss Ravenel's Conversion, XXVI 368:
        Perhaps it has gone to the dog heaven, and is wagging somewhere in glory.
      • 1879 February, J. H. Payne, Scribner's Monthly, 470 2:
        His pet name for Easthampton is ‘Goose-heaven’, and he harps upon the idea eternally.
      • 1908 October 5, Chicago Tribune, 3 1:
        One gray beard who found the gates closed shinned up the fifteen foot fence...and dropped into the baseball heaven he was seeking.
      • 1972, M. Sanders, Flash:
        The Dave Clark 5 deserve a place in Rock & Roll Heaven right along there beside Question Mark & The Mysterians, the Standells, Count Five, the Troggs, and the Music Machine.
      • 1986 February 3, Newsweek, 70:
        The building was once a candy factory, which makes it, Frazier says, mouse heaven.
      • 2003 August 1, Church Times, 28 3:
        Ricky bumps it into the garden, and tells me it is going to ‘the cooker heaven’. ‘Where it will be this size,’ adds his wife, her hands making the size of a brick. She means that it is off to the squasher.
      • 2004 July 17, Western Mail (Cardiff), 15:
        Goronwy has gone to goldfish heaven where he is swimming in a beautiful clear blue ocean with all the other fishies.

Usage notes

Frequently capitalized as 'Heaven' in all senses when regarded as a proper name.

When used as a synonym for the impersonal sky, the word has typically been plural ("heavens" or "the heavens") since the 17th century, except in poetry.

Synonyms

Antonyms

Hyponyms

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

heaven (third-person singular simple present heavens, present participle heavening, simple past and past participle heavened)[3]

  1. (obsolete) To transport to the abode of God, the gods, or the blessed.
    • 1614, Thomas Adams, The divells banket described in sixe sermons, II 81:
      He heauens himselfe on earth, & for a litle pelfe cousens himselfe of blisse.
  2. (obsolete) To beatify, enchant, or please greatly.
    • 1924 April 13, Observer, 12 4:
      They [Byron's Tales]...enraptured the public and heavened Murray.
  3. (obsolete) To beautify, to make into a paradise.

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: Henry · society · boat · #798: heaven · v. · difficult · top

Anagrams

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Oxford English Dictionary. "Heaven, n."
  2. 1 2 3 Gerhard Köbler, Altenglisches Wörterbuch, entry "heofon"
  3. Oxford English Dictionary. "Heaven, v."