- Gr. Myth. the boatman who ferries souls of the dead across the river Styx to Hades
- a satellite of Pluto: it has an orbital period equal to Pluto's rotational period
Origin of CharonClassical Latin from Classical Greek Char?n
- The ferryman who conveyed the dead to Hades over the river Styx.
- Astronomy The largest of Pluto's satellites.
Origin of CharonLatin Charōn from Greek Kharōn, Kharōn- possibly an ironic or apotropaic use (with reference to Charon's gloomy task) of the Greek male personal name Kharōn ( from khairein, khar- to rejoice, delight in, be glad to ; see gher-2 in Indo-European roots.) or a hypocorism from kharopos having flashing or bright eyes, fierce, grim ( probably khairein ) ( -op- ) (Greek ōps, ōp- eye ) ( and op-s- ) ( suppletive future stem of horān to see ; see Pelops. ) Sense 2, originally coined (without knowledge of the name of the mythological figure) by James W. Christy (born 1938), American astronomer who discovered Charon in 1978 Char nickname of Charlene Christy, his wife -on noun suffix common in scientific vocabulary ; see -on 1. (although Christy soon discovered that by fortunate coincidence his coinage corresponded exactly to the name of a figure associated with the god Pluto)