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.
- ‘In the Trecento version, the two saints are recognised by their halos; beside Peter stands the king wearing his crown.’
- ‘Later, we will learn that the halos worn by saints in devotional art are based on the depiction of the divine in Egyptian art.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘When used for human figures, the halo represents holiness or sanctity, and its iconography is developed to mark important distinctions between the figures represented.’
- ‘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’
- ‘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.’
- ‘So a halo appears around my available presence indicator, denoting ‘super interruptible’.’
- ‘Some analysts have even claimed the group of North American fund managers seeking change are ‘greenmailers with halos round their heads’.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘After performing a good deed, he's also stuck with a halo above his head.’
- ‘Oh yes, you expected me to have a halo above my head in this whole situation, right?’
- ‘Gabe and Isaiah fought to look innocent so badly that I could almost see halos floating above their heads.’
- ‘She even looked normal-looking (i.e. halo and queenly demeanor left at home) sources say.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘They walk down the red carpet of fame with this tremendous halo of ego surrounding them, and they give very little back, if anything.’
- ‘That's right, Gary Coleman, broken halo and all.’
2A circle of white or coloured light around the sun, moon, or other luminous body caused by refraction through ice crystals in the atmosphere.
- ‘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?’
- ‘I've never seen such a brilliant halo about the moon.’
- ‘According to authorities, normal astronomical phenomena such as a solar halo, or the refraction of water are usually reported during the day.’
- ‘But what about that halo around the half-moon tonight?’
- ‘H.R.Madhusudan, Science Educator at the Planetarium, said ice crystals in the earth's atmosphere caused the solar halo.’
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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