noun, plural ha·los, ha·loes.

  1. Also called nimbus. a geometric shape, usually in the form of a disk, circle, ring, or rayed structure, traditionally representing a radiant light around or above the head of a divine or sacred personage, an ancient or medieval monarch, etc.
  2. an atmosphere or quality of glory, majesty, sanctity, or the like: the halo around Shakespeare’s works; She put a halo around her son.
  3. Meteorology. any of a variety of bright circles or arcs centered on the sun or moon, caused by the refraction or reflection of light by ice crystals suspended in the earth’s atmosphere and exhibiting prismatic coloration ranging from red inside to blue outside (distinguished from corona).
  4. Astronomy. a spherical cloud of gas clusters and stars that form part of a spiral galaxy.
  5. an undesirable bright or dark ring surrounding an image on the fluorescent screen of a television tube, due to some fault either in transmission or reception.

verb (used with object), ha·loed, ha·lo·ing.

  1. to surround with a halo.

verb (used without object), ha·loed, ha·lo·ing.

  1. to form a halo.

  1. a combining form meaning “salt,” used in the formation of compound words (halophyte); sometimes specialized as a combining form of halogen (halothane).

noun plural -loes or -los

  1. a disc or ring of light around the head of an angel, saint, etc, as in painting or sculpture
  2. the aura surrounding an idealized, famous, or admired person, thing, or event
  3. a circle of light around the sun or moon, caused by the refraction of light by particles of ice
  4. astronomy a spherical cloud of stars surrounding the Galaxy and other spiral galaxies

verb -loes, -los, -loing or -loed

  1. to surround with or form a halo

combining form

  1. indicating salt or the seahalophyte
  2. relating to or containing a halogenhalothane

1560s, from Latin halo (nominative halos), from Greek halos “disk of the sun or moon, ring of light around the sun or moon” (also “threshing floor” and “disk of a shield”), of unknown origin. Sense of “light around the head of a holy person or deity” first recorded 1640s. As a verb from 1801.

before vowels hal-, word-forming element meaning “salt, sea,” from Greek hals (genitive halos) “a lump of salt, salt generally,” in Homer, “the sea,” from PIE *sal- “salt” (see salt (n.)).

n. pl. ha•los

  1. A reddish yellow ring surrounding the optic disk, caused by an expansion of the scleral ring that makes the deeper structures visible.
  2. Glaucomatous halo.
  3. A ring of light surrounding a luminous body.


  1. Salt:halophilic.
  2. Halogen:halide.

  1. A hazy ring of colored light in the sky around the Sun, Moon, or a similar bright object. A halo is caused by the reflection and refraction of light through atmospheric ice crystals.
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