1 : calm, peaceful
2 : happy, golden
3 : prosperous, affluent
Did You Know?
According to Greek mythology, Alkyone, the daughter of the god of the winds, became so distraught when she learned that her husband had been killed in a shipwreck that she threw herself into the sea and was changed into a kingfisher. As a result, ancient Greeks called such birds alkyōn or halkyōn. The legend also says that such birds built floating nests on the sea, where they so charmed the wind god that he created a period of unusual calm that lasted until the birds’ eggs hatched. This legend prompted people to use halcyon both as a noun naming a genus of kingfisher and as an adjective meaning either “of or relating to the kingfisher or its nesting period” or “calm.”
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“Today, California is in the black and has even banked an emergency fund of eight billion dollars. Unemployment is less than five per cent. Still, there is nothing halcyon about Brown’s vision of the future. At a press conference in January, he unveiled his valedictory budget proposal … and made clear that this was no cause for celebration.” — Connie Bruck, The New Yorker, 26 Mar. 2018
“There was a time when the gates opened at Molson Stadium and fans flocked in to watch the Alouettes play. And mostly, win. Until those halcyon days return, the organization realizes something must change.” — Herb Zurkowsky, The Gazette (Montreal), 31 May 2018