An old man watching his grandchildren play might look back fondly on his halcyon days, remembering the peaceful, happy time of his youth.

The word halcyon comes from a story in Greek mythology about the halcyon bird, which had the power to calm the rough ocean waves every December so she could nest. Like those calm waters, halcyon has come to mean a sense of peace or tranquility. People often use the phrase halcyon days to refer idyllically to a calmer, more peaceful time in their past.

Definitions of halcyon

n a mythical bird said to breed at the time of the winter solstice in a nest floating on the sea and to have the power of calming the winds and waves

Type of:
mythical being
an imaginary being of myth or fable

adj idyllically calm and peaceful; suggesting happy tranquillity

“a halcyon atmosphere”
peaceable, peaceful
not disturbed by strife or turmoil or war

adj marked by peace and prosperity

“the halcyon days of the clipper trade”
golden, prosperous
enjoying or showing or marked by joy or pleasure

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