Definition of heaven in English:



  • 1A place regarded in various religions as the abode of God (or the gods) and the angels, and of the good after death, often traditionally depicted as being above the sky.

    ‘those who practised good deeds would receive the reward of a place in heaven’
    ‘Juno, Queen of Heaven and wife of Jupiter’
    • ‘At his death, he was unable to again access to Heaven because of his meanness.’
    • ‘When His work on earth was completed, Jesus returned to Heaven to be with His Father.’
    • ‘Now if I were to see them again in Heaven I would want them to be how I remembered them but who wants to be old in Heaven?’
    • ‘To me Heaven exists as the stars and hell seems like the dark recesses of our minds.’
    • ‘Allah has created this world so that we could enter Heaven by following the path of truth.’
    • ‘In Heaven he was introduced to Indra, who enrolled him in his heavenly workshops.’
    • ‘It does not have the concept of a Saviour, nor of Heaven and Hell in the popular sense.’
    • ‘From his position in Heaven above and beyond the universe, God sits not only as creator but also as judge.’
    • ‘If we believe our religion is the only way to Heaven, then we must also affirm that all other paths lead to Hell.’
    • ‘I would like to think that she was watching me from her flowery garden up in Heaven with all her close relatives.’
    • ‘To her that was a sign from Heaven that she had to care for the child the rest of her life.’
    • ‘Paul would never approve of someone taking a few lines from his letter and treating them as a ticket to Heaven.’
    • ‘Speculating about Heaven and Hell, God and the Devil is an absurd and pointless act.’
    • ‘We shall all be united in Heaven one day, and there we shall praise one true God for eternity.’
    • ‘You can now hope for a perfect inheritance beyond the power of change and decay, reserved in Heaven for you.’
    • ‘Then the world will see our good works and glorify our Father who is in Heaven.’
    • ‘The idea of a perfect Heaven must be caused by something greater than the idea itself.’
    • ‘It sounds like we have been given a free ticket to Heaven, and that is exactly what God has given us.’
    • ‘They knew that to close their eyes on the scenes of life, was to open them in Heaven.’
    • ‘By His precious blood a road was made from Heaven to earth, by which God could come down to man.’
    paradise, nirvana, the kingdom of heaven, the promised land, the heavenly kingdom, the city of god, the celestial city, the abode of god, the abode of the saints, the abode of the angels, zion, abraham's bosom, the empyrean
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    1. 1.1 God (or the gods)
      ‘Constantine was persuaded that disunity in the Church was displeasing to heaven’
      • ‘But heaven surely knows, that packages and bows can never heal a hurting human soul.’
      • ‘But heaven help anyone who writes this line-up off this time next year.’
      • ‘And heaven help the sanity of the people who listen to it longer than it takes to switch it off.’
    2. 1.2Theology A state of being eternally in the presence of God after death.
      ‘the everlasting happiness with God that we call heaven’
      • ‘I'm fascinated by movies that offer interpretations of heaven and life after death.’
      • ‘I just thought it was a lovely way to describe death and heaven.’
      • ‘The priest went up and gave a very good speech about life and death, and heaven, and all sorts of stuff.’
      • ‘Do you want reliable answers concerning issues like life, forgiveness, death, heaven or hell?’
      • ‘You may want to talk about any beliefs you have, about what happens after death, such as heaven, or the spiritual part of a person.’
    3. 1.3 Used in various exclamations as a substitute for ‘God’
      ‘heaven knows!’
      ‘good heavens!’
      • ‘Oh heavens above how dare they create a parallel in a satire between real life and their fictional world!’
      • ‘Oh Heavens no, I'm just fine.’
  • 2also the heavensliterary The sky, especially perceived as a vault in which the sun, moon, stars, and planets are situated.

    ‘Galileo used a telescope to observe the heavens’
    • ‘She wondered if maybe her mother had not become one of the innumerable stars in the heavens.’
    • ‘All of the thirteen kingdoms had been graced with a stone, and a crystal and a star in the heavens.’
    • ‘He could never know what she had wished for as the stars fell from the heavens to earth.’
    • ‘She then gazed upwards into the starlit night sky that blanketed the heavens above.’
    • ‘They had seen his star in the heavens and followed it to Jerusalem and then onto Bethlehem.’
    the sky, the skies, the upper atmosphere, the stratosphere
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  • 3informal A place, state, or experience of supreme bliss.

    ‘lying by the pool with a good book is my idea of heaven’
    • ‘By casting them out of their land, we were making them leave their heaven behind.’
    • ‘The city was a very heaven for such Beatles and Stones fans, and the experience put a spell on their music that is still audible.’
    • ‘After making new mates on our bus ride we ended up in our skate heaven.’
    • ‘It is tempting to view the Last Night of the Proms as William Blake's idea of heaven.’
    • ‘She is careful to look at every flower, every tree, as she dances gracefully across the heaven of green.’
    • ‘The ills of overcrowding are relieved by escape into a computer-generated heaven, of open skies and rolling fields.’
    • ‘A beach, a book and an endless shoreline with nary a soul in sight pretty much sums up my idea of heaven here on Earth.’
    • ‘The corollary of this is that meditation provides an experience of heaven.’
    • ‘As thoughts turn to food, we come upon the market stalls, where my kebab-shop heaven is suddenly made manifest.’
    • ‘If that's their idea of heaven then I'd opt for downstairs with the sinners.’
    • ‘The joy and beauty that pervade the show make the theatre a heaven of its own.’
    • ‘I've long since stopped staying in Byron itself, but the surrounds remain my heaven on a stick.’
    • ‘For weeks, this grassy place was her heaven and she loved him for it.’
    • ‘We then turned the car towards the retail heaven that is IKEA.’
    • ‘No one comes back - face up to what's gong on around you because this is the only heaven or hell you're going to experience.’
    • ‘We had to give them a style and grooming makeover, which I modelled on James Bond - my idea of heaven.’
    • ‘My idea of chocolate heaven is anything with hazelnut praline. Mmmmm.’
    • ‘Swimming around in deep blue oceans is my idea of heaven.’
    • ‘When the sun sets, a candelit dinner for two at the trendiest four-star restaurant is your idea of heaven.’
    • ‘Where they saw scaffolding and cement-mixers, I saw a light-filled heaven.’
    ecstasy, bliss, rapture, contentment, happiness, delight, joy, felicity, supreme happiness, supreme joy, perfect contentment, seventh heaven, cloud nine
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  • the heavens open

    • It suddenly starts to rain very heavily.

      • ‘Everything goes as it should, until the heavens open and a torrential rain begins.’
      • ‘As one of the driest years for decades, last year was indeed exceptional, and unless the heavens open for long periods this winter, restrictions could follow.’
      • ‘Having laboured a part of the way, suddenly and most unexpectedly, the heavens open up.’
      • ‘Every home or business affected by floods will receive an individual flooding plan for their property, while all the city's residents will be mailed information on what to do if the heavens open up.’
      • ‘So I suggest that, before the heavens open again, Jenny and everyone else who has businesses here ring up the emergency services and get informed.’
      • ‘And as the heavens open once again, Travis takes to the stage, almost sombre in the evening's half-light.’
      • ‘The best way to experience living conditions as they were at the turn of the last millennium is to book yourself into a festival once the heavens open.’
      • ‘Suddenly the heavens open up and rain begins to pour from the unforeseen forming clouds.’
      • ‘That is evidenced by the fact that it is now becoming a regular feature of life for home owners and businesses in certain areas that every time the heavens open they face the risk of flooding.’
      • ‘Come my brother and get warm in the car before the heavens open above us with rain.’
      • ‘Lightening arced across the sky, ripping the heavens open as torrential rains began to pelt down on them.’
      • ‘Here he is at the front of the race as the heavens open…’
      • ‘‘We had an uninterrupted practice for seven days and then the day we leave the heavens open, which is a great portent,’ said Noble.’
      • ‘Suddenly the heavens open, and I dive for shelter under a parasol.’
      • ‘When the heavens open early on Sunday morning, just hours into the final day of the Lake of Stars Festival, everyone is taken by surprise.’
      • ‘As well as using existing permanent stands, extra temporary and hospitality areas will be built, supplemented by covered wet weather areas to prevent overcrowding if the heavens open.’
  • in seventh heaven

    • Very happy; ecstatic.

      ‘he was in seventh heaven, so excited’
      • ‘She loved it, plus her 2 sisters who still live in Jamaica came over so she was in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘Come the day of the game, I was in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘We've had snow, and the dog is in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘For most of the afternoon, Hammam appeared to be in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘Poland are at sixes and sevens, Korea in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘Dan and Kelly look tired but are clearly in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘Rebecca was in seventh heaven, having girls to talk to, after spending the day with Scott and his friends.’
      • ‘Students and teachers at schools throughout Eden and Lune were in seventh heaven as they received their well-earned results after two years of tests, course work and hard slog.’
      • ‘We were sold out, the audience loved it and we were in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘Ardent followers of fashion will be in seventh heaven this weekend when one of the biggest and best clothes shows of the year fills the Sandton Convention Centre with a range of vibrant colours and exotic designs.’
      • ‘After my wonderful morning, add the dark, dank weather, and I was in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘I was twelve years old and I was in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘University College Cork is in seventh heaven as it advances plans to restore a century-old observatory on campus.’
      • ‘On the right-wing Fox News Channel, the network's star Bill O'Reilly has been in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘He reported that the firm was in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘West Indian father Dennis builds a cricket practice net in the back garden and David is in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘He got behind the serving counters and dished up turkey and mashed potatoes to the boys and he was just in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘Of course, when the results came out a couple months later, I was in seventh heaven when they called my name and said St. Mary's College.’
      • ‘Having recently fallen in love with this style of music, I was in seventh heaven.’
      • ‘David is green with envy and in seventh heaven all at the same time and is soon sneaking off to get some cricket lessons courtesy of Dennis.’
      ecstatic, euphoric, thrilled, elated, delighted, overjoyed, on cloud nine, on cloud seven, treading on air, walking on air, jubilant, rapturous, beside oneself with joy, jumping for joy, exultant, transported, delirious, enraptured, blissful, in raptures, like a child with a new toy
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  • a match (or marriage) made in heaven

    • A relationship or pairing where each member perfectly complements the other.

      ‘you and your guy are a match made in heaven’
      ‘the balance of music and writing skills is definitely a marriage made in heaven’
      • ‘He describes their relationship as "a marriage made in heaven".’
      • ‘It was a huge relief when Tracy said yes and now the pair is bound to be a match made in heaven.’
      • ‘Mustard and ketchup are a match made in heaven!’
      • ‘Take a class for the bride and groom's first dance, and you can show you're a match made in heaven with the footwork to prove it.’
      • ‘One simple, tasty starter involves serving asparagus with soft-boiled eggs—a marriage made in heaven.’
  • move heaven and earth to do something

    • Make extraordinary efforts to do a specified thing.

      ‘if he had truly loved her he would have moved heaven and earth to get her back’
      • ‘Instead, they're fascinated by the way in which their own children - who they moved heaven and earth to give a better time at Christmas than they ever had - are now telling their own children about Christmas in their time.’
      • ‘Funny how their committee hasn't moved heaven and earth to claim it.’
      • ‘While the renewable energy industry is moving heaven and earth to meet their targets in the timescale, I feel we will still need a back-up in the short term.’
      • ‘Father Dixon found it remarkable that such a statement could be a credible account of Stuart's words, and began moving heaven and earth to save him from the gallows.’
      • ‘If not, why aren't you moving heaven and earth to find out the answer?’
      • ‘Mr Gibbons said: ‘I have moved heaven and earth to make this deal happen, unfortunately Mr Hammond could not commit and the deal did not proceed.’’
      • ‘The government has also benefitted from a largely sympathetic media and when it has not it has moved heaven and earth to bring it into line.’
      • ‘We did all the advertising and scheduling for the event and, to be honest, we moved heaven and earth to reopen in time to accommodate it.’
      • ‘And so, in the interests of the integrity of my profession, I pledge to move heaven and earth to advance my inquiries with the greatest possible speed.’
      • ‘But Heather will move heaven and earth to do it.’
      • ‘But still, we always work to move heaven and earth to mitigate the damage to respond as quickly as possible.’
      • ‘Indeed, he would have concluded that he was a particular favourite of the headmaster, whom he might rightly have seen as moving heaven and earth to make excuses on his behalf.’
      • ‘Once I discovered it I moved heaven and earth to try to put it right.’
      • ‘We've moved heaven and earth to get them in for when they want.’
      • ‘If I think I have been unjustly treated I will move heaven and earth to put the record straight.’
      • ‘It did not happen, although the archives also reveal that Wilson, as prime minister, moved heaven and earth to prevent President Richard Nixon, then discredited, coming on a state visit.’
      • ‘He knew what he wanted to do and he moved heaven and earth to do it.’
      • ‘We are duty bound to investigate all possibilities, but I am convinced Stephen was killed, and as such, am moving heaven and earth to try and catch a killer.’
      • ‘So I have moved heaven and earth to make sure that I enter that theater with my mind open, empty, and willing to be filled with the Holy Spirit.’
      • ‘That won't happen if the correct facilities can't be identified, but the new director of football is determined to move heaven and earth to find the site.’
      try one's hardest, try as hard as one can, do one's best, do one's utmost, do all one can, give one's all, make every effort, spare no effort, put oneself out
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  • stink (or smell) to high heaven

    • Have a very strong and unpleasant odour.

      ‘the quayside stank to high heaven of salt fish’
      • ‘Anyway, whatever it is, it stinks to the highest heaven.’
      • ‘You people stink to high heaven of moral righteousness.’
      • ‘‘The whole thing stinks to high heaven,’ he said.’
      • ‘Something about the story stinks to high heaven.’
      • ‘When you eventually are given the ‘privilege’ of entry you are led to a large building that smells to high heaven.’
      • ‘Oh sure, the house stinks to high heaven, but it's just the varnish, a small price to pay for the end result.’
      • ‘The sun is bleaching the colour out of the streets, and the fish on the market stall are stinking to high heaven as they sweat on a bed of ice, but everyone is smiling and weaving their way around the tourists.’
      • ‘The whole media business stinks to high heaven as far as I'm concerned.’
      • ‘The fact that they printed the story without even doing the most basic checks stinks to high heaven.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, they also stink to high heaven, so you need a pretty strong stomach for that particular activity.’
      • ‘This sort of stuff stinks to high heaven and has registered quite high in the minds of my flatmates and all would be visitors to our shores.’
      • ‘As we reported, he says this corporate tax bill stinks to high heaven.’
      • ‘What was not in perfect health was her house: it stank to high heaven (or, more appropriately, low hell).’
      • ‘He only had the clothing he had been released in and was ‘stinking to high heaven’.’
      • ‘It stinks to high heaven and it's cold at the moment.’
      • ‘For the remaining three hours of the exercise, I stank to high heaven with other members of the patrol deliberately evading me.’
      • ‘There are, alas, all too many foreign policy dilemmas like this one - when all the policy options stink to high heaven.’
      • ‘The idea of a town's worth of bins, all smelling to high heaven, in close proximity to each other, is not at all a happy one winter or summer.’
      • ‘You know it stinks to high heaven, Pete, and you're the responsible minister.’
      • ‘I was totally covered, it was all through my clothes, and it stank to high heaven.’
      foul-smelling, evil-smelling, stinking, stinking to high heaven, reeking, fetid, malodorous, pungent, acrid, rank, putrid, noxious
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Old English heofon, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hemel and German Himmel.