Definition of Belisha beacon in English:

Belisha beacon


  • (in the UK) an orange ball containing a flashing light, mounted on a striped post on the pavement at each end of a zebra crossing.

    • ‘But what they're going to do is put a Belisha beacon crossing here and then put more streetlights on top of the Belisha beacon.’
    • ‘The scheme involves improving the lighting and installing internally lit up poles to the 59 belisha beacons at all 26 zebra crossing locations in the city.’
    • ‘However at 16% of pedestrian crossings at least one of the Belisha beacons was not operating.’
    • ‘On British road sign poles, apart from Belisha beacons, we lost our white stripes many years ago and they are now plain black.’
    • ‘By 1951 the black and white stripes, with Belisha beacons on either side of the road, were approved as ‘Zebra’ crossings; the first officially installed in Slough.’
    • ‘There is usually a Belisha beacon at each side of the crossing.’
    • ‘When the village school was built in the 19th century all was quiet, but by 1955 it was getting busier - there are Belisha beacons across School Lane.’
    • ‘One of the oldest and most recognisable road safety devices in the UK, the Belisha Beacon, is to get a makeover more than 70 years after it was introduced.’


1930s: named after Leslie Hore-Belisha (1893–1957), British politician, Minister of Transport when the beacons were introduced.


Belisha beacon

/bəˈliːʃə ˌbiːk(ə)n/