One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A circle of light shown around or above the head of a saint or holy person to represent their holiness.
- ‘When used for human figures, the halo represents holiness or sanctity, and its iconography is developed to mark important distinctions between the figures represented.’
- ‘Auras are not to be confused with the aureoles or halos of saints, which are devices of Christian iconography used to depict the radiance of light associated with divine infusion.’
- ‘Later, we will learn that the halos worn by saints in devotional art are based on the depiction of the divine in Egyptian art.’
- ‘In the Trecento version, the two saints are recognised by their halos; beside Peter stands the king wearing his crown.’
- ‘Egyptian sun disks became the halos of Catholic saints.’
- 1.1 The glory associated with an esteemed person.‘he has lost his halo for many ordinary Russians’
- ‘After performing a good deed, he's also stuck with a halo above his head.’
- ‘So a halo appears around my available presence indicator, denoting ‘super interruptible’.’
- ‘Gabe and Isaiah fought to look innocent so badly that I could almost see halos floating above their heads.’
- ‘As an autumn wind makes mischief with David McLetchie's remaining locks, Annabel Goldie draws an imaginary halo above his head, while Bill Aitken pulls a face.’
- ‘That's right, Gary Coleman, broken halo and all.’
- ‘She even looked normal-looking (i.e. halo and queenly demeanor left at home) sources say.’
- ‘Some analysts have even claimed the group of North American fund managers seeking change are ‘greenmailers with halos round their heads’.’
- ‘There will most probably be never that one single purpose to chase after, there would never be that singular moment of absolute meaning and sense when I would be bestowed with a golden halo hovering above my head.’
- ‘Oh yes, you expected me to have a halo above my head in this whole situation, right?’
- ‘Handley JA always appeared with a halo above his head to mark his manifest saintliness, a point picked up with typical understatement in the essay on him.’
- ‘They walk down the red carpet of fame with this tremendous halo of ego surrounding them, and they give very little back, if anything.’
- ‘A hundred years ago, similar mafias existed all across the region, they still have a halo surrounding them as if they are fighters for justice.’
2A circle of white or coloured light around the sun, moon, or other luminous body caused by refraction through ice crystals in the atmosphere.
- ‘H.R.Madhusudan, Science Educator at the Planetarium, said ice crystals in the earth's atmosphere caused the solar halo.’
- ‘Blue Moons, Harvest Moons, halos, waxing, waning and lunacy - where do Moon superstitions come from and how many of them have a basis in fact?’
- ‘According to authorities, normal astronomical phenomena such as a solar halo, or the refraction of water are usually reported during the day.’
- ‘I've never seen such a brilliant halo about the moon.’
- ‘But what about that halo around the half-moon tonight?’
Mid 16th century (denoting a circle of light round the sun etc.): from medieval Latin, from Latin halos, from Greek halōs ‘disc of the sun or moon’.
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