Heaven meaning

hĕvən
Frequency:
The definition of heaven is the sky and the universe as seen from Earth, or for Christians, the place where God, divine beings and saved souls live.

An example of heaven is where God, Jesus and the angels live.

An example of heaven is the stars.

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The sky or universe as seen from the earth; the firmament.
noun
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(obsolete) To transport to the abode of God, the gods, or the blessed.
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A condition or place of great happiness, delight, or pleasure.

The lake was heaven.

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(religion) The abode of God or the gods, traditionally conceived as beyond the sky, specifically:
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(rare) A female given name of modern usage from the noun heaven.
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The space surrounding or seeming to overarch the earth, in which the sun, moon, and stars appear; sky; firmament.
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Any of the places in or beyond the sky conceived of as domains of divine beings in various religions.
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A state or place of complete happiness or perfect rest, attained by the good after death.
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  • (dated, now usually plural) The distant sky in which the sun, moon, and stars appear or move; the firmament; the celestial spheres.
    1930 March, Nature, 179 2The moon's path lies in that belt of the heavens known as the zodiac.
  • C. 1382, Wycliffe's Bible, Job XXXV 11.
    The bestis of the erthe...the foulis of heuene.
  • 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.
  • C. 1597, William Shakespeare, The comicall Historie of the Merchant of Venice, IV iThe qualitie of mercie is not ſtraind,it droppeth as the gentle raine from heauenvpon the place beneath.
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(religion) The afterlife of the blessed dead, traditionally conceived as opposed to an afterlife of the wicked and unjust (cf. hell), specifically:
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(obsolete) To beätify, enchant, or please greatly.
verb
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(obsolete) To beautify, to make into a paradise.
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(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.
  • 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.

1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, I 263Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav'n.

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(religion) Providence, the will of God or the gods, when considered as a personal entity or specific aspect of the divine; Fate.
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(uncommon) Other extended senses of heaven as a specific place similar to the abode of God, the gods, or the blessed departed.
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1625, Nathanæl Carpenter, Geography delineated forth in two bookes, I iv 77

The Heauens...are carried in 24 houres from East to West.

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(uncommon) A patronymic surnamederived from Evan.
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The celestial powers; the gods.

The heavens favored the young prince.

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move heaven and earth
  • To do everything possible to bring about something desired.
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move heaven and earth
  • To do all that can be done; exert the utmost effort, influence, etc.
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Origin of heaven

  • Middle English heven from Old English heofon ak- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Cognate with Low German hēven (“heaven, sky”), Old Saxon heƀan (“heaven, sky”), and possibly the rare Old Norse hifinn, probably dissimilated forms of the Germanic root which appears in Old Norse himinn (“heaven, sky”), Gothic (himins, “heaven, sky”), Old Swedish himin, Old Danish himæn and probably also (in another variant form) Old Saxon himil, Old Dutch himil (modern Dutch hemel), and Old High German himil (German Himmel).

    From Wiktionary

  • Accepting these as cognates, some scholars propose a further derivation from Proto-Germanic *himinaz or *himilaz (“cover, heaven, sky”), from Proto-Indo-European *k(')emen- (“sky, heaven”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱem- (“cover, shroud”). Such a derivation would make the word cognate with shame.

    From Wiktionary

  • From a wide variety of Middle English forms including hevin, heuen, and hewin (“heaven, sky”), from Old English heofon (“heaven, sky”), of uncertain origin.

    From Wiktionary