I. noun 1. a fire or light set up in a high or prominent position as a warning, signal, or celebration. • a chain of beacons carried the news.
• her red hair was like a beacon in the night.
‹figurative› the prospect of a new government was a beacon of hope for millions.
2. [often in place names] —
(Brit.) a hill suitable for a beacon
• Ivinghoe Beacon.
3. a light or other visible object serving as a signal, warning, or guide at sea, on an airfield, etc. 4. a radio transmitter whose signal helps to fix the position of a ship, aircraft, or spacecraft.
– origin Old English bēacn ‘sign, portent, ensign’, of West Germanic origin; related to beckon.