Definition of halo in US English:

halo

noun

  • 1A disk or circle of light shown surrounding or above the head of a saint or holy person to represent their holiness.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When used for human figures, the halo represents holiness or sanctity, and its iconography is developed to mark important distinctions between the figures represented.’
    ring of light, nimbus, aureole, aureola, glory, crown of light, corona, disc, radiance, aura
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    1. 1.1 The glory associated with an idealized person or thing.
      ‘he has long since lost his halo for many ordinary Russians’
      • ‘So a halo appears around my available presence indicator, denoting ‘super interruptible’.’
      • ‘Oh yes, you expected me to have a halo above my head in this whole situation, right?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some analysts have even claimed the group of North American fund managers seeking change are ‘greenmailers with halos round their heads’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She even looked normal-looking (i.e. halo and queenly demeanor left at home) sources say.’
      • ‘Gabe and Isaiah fought to look innocent so badly that I could almost see halos floating above their heads.’
      • ‘After performing a good deed, he's also stuck with a halo above his head.’
      • ‘That's right, Gary Coleman, broken halo and all.’
      • ‘They walk down the red carpet of fame with this tremendous halo of ego surrounding them, and they give very little back, if anything.’
  • 2A circle of white or colored light around the sun, moon, or other luminous body caused by refraction through ice crystals in the atmosphere.

    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘H.R.Madhusudan, Science Educator at the Planetarium, said ice crystals in the earth's atmosphere caused the solar halo.’
    ring of light, nimbus, aureole, aureola, glory, crown of light, corona, disc, radiance, aura
    View synonyms

verb

[with object]
  • Surround with or as if with a halo.

    • ‘The 30-minute flight crosses majestic mountain peaks haloed by rain clouds that feed the waterfalls flowing briskly down their flanks.’
    • ‘As the sun came from behind the clouds, a burst of brilliant light caught your hair, it was haloed in front of me.’
    • ‘Now that John's been enlightened, he's wondering if he's haloed people who weren't pre-perps.’
    • ‘What's more, the mountain was haloed by phosphorescent blue bands of some sort of energy crackling all around it.’
    • ‘They weren't having any difficulties seeing; to me there was nothing but vague shadows while patches of darkness with a bit more solidity than others moved around, occasionally haloed by the feeble glow from the door.’
    • ‘‘Room Tone’ bucks the dualistic bent of its five predecessors by retaining a jittery hum that is continually haloed by the digital equivalent of the plastic flash that had to be cut away from Airfix kit parts before assembly.’
    • ‘It was a glorious sunset, all crimson and gold, haloing the bare granite peaks and pine-scattered slopes that trailed down to the desert.’
    • ‘Men and beasts have retreated up the hillside, haloed in dusty sunshine.’
    • ‘A head-dress of feathers and birds' wings haloed his head.’
    • ‘The hills were an unearthly shade of green and the low patches of fog haloed the peaks of the trees, making them tall saints, staring down benevolently at the wet quiet of the valley.’
    • ‘Cash stopped to see where I was when the apple caught her square on the side of the head, haloed brightly by a tinsel of outward flying juice and chunks of exploding apple-meat.’
    • ‘A continuous buzz of black flies haloed their heads.’
    • ‘Sculptor and installation artist Susan Meyer Fenton is haloed against a wrinkled and therefore turbulent backdrop.’
    • ‘The equally glamorous Einstein's Cross, composed of five fiery white balls in a deep blue field haloed by a flickering ring of red, is closely based on a Hubble telescope image taken off the Internet.’
    • ‘With the sun directly behind him, his head was haloed like that of an angel, his gorgeous angular features were emphasized by the light behind him.’
    • ‘A cold front is moving down from the States, and a shank-of-the-night fog haloes the few lights.’
    • ‘The two heavy-cruisers, trading fire with the Corona Fire and the Mystic in the other direction, were occasionally haloed by violent bursts of red, white and violet light.’
    • ‘Under a Greek moon, Penelope Cruz sits at a scarred wooden table, haloed in white light.’
    • ‘Every night at eight o'clock, as dependably as the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico, the dirty window of a dilapidated cigar-maker's cottage on Catherine Street in Key West was suddenly haloed with a reddish glow.’
    • ‘Christian bats feebly at a small plague of gnats haloing his head and the damp air bonds to his skin and his muscles ache from sitting too long.’

Origin

Mid 16th century (denoting a circle of light round the sun etc.): from medieval Latin, from Latin halos, from Greek halōs ‘disk of the sun or moon’.

Pronunciation

halo

/ˈheɪloʊ//ˈhālō/