From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. The expanse of space surrounding the earth; especially, that which seems to be over the earth like a great arch or dome; the firmament; the sky; the place where the sun, moon, and stars appear; often used in the plural in this sense. I never saw the heavens so dim by day. (Shak) When my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the sun in heaven. (D. Webster)

2. The dwelling place of the Deity; the abode of bliss; the place or state of the blessed after death. Unto the god of love, high heavens king. (Spenser) It is a knell That summons thee to heaven or to hell. (Shak) New thoughts of god, new hopes of heaven. (Keble)

in this general sense heaven and its corresponding words in other languages have as various definite interpretations as there are phases of religious belief.

3. The sovereign of heaven; God; also, the assembly of the blessed, collectively; used variously in this sense, as in no. 2. Her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear. (Shak) The will And high permission of all-ruling heaven. (Milton)

4. Any place of supreme happiness or great comfort; perfect felicity; bliss; a sublime or exalted condition; as, a heaven of delight. A heaven of beauty. . The brightest heaven of invention. O bed! bed! Delicious bed! That heaven upon earth to the weary head! (Hood)

heaven is very often used, especially. With participles, in forming compound words, most of which need no special explanation; as, heaven-appeasing, heaven-aspiring, heaven-begot, heaven-born, heaven-bred, heaven-conducted, heaven-descended, heaven-directed, heaven-exalted, heaven-given, heaven-guided, heaven-inflicted, heaven-inspired, heaven-instructed, heaven-kissing, heaven-loved, heaven-moving, heaven-protected, heaven-taught, heaven-warring, and the like.

Origin: oe. Heven, hefen, heofen, as. Heofon; akin to os. Hevan, LG. Heben, heven, Icel. Hifinn; of uncertain origin, cf. D. Hemel, g. Himmel, Icel. Himmin, goth. Himins; perh. Akin to, or influenced by, the root of E. Heave, or from a root signifying to cover, cf. Goth. Gahamn to put on, clothe one's self, g. Hemd shirt, and perh. E. Chemise.