- The expanse of space surrounding the earth; esp., 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.]
- 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 heaven's King." [Spenser.]"It is a knell That summons thee to heaven or to hell." [Shak.]"New thoughts of God, new hopes of Heaven." [Keble.]
- The sovereign of heaven; God; also, the assembly of the blessed, collectively; -- used variously in this sense, as in No. 2.; as, heaven helps those who help themselves."Her prayers, whom Heaven delights to hear." [Shak.]"The will And high permission of all-ruling Heaven." [Milton.]
- Any place of supreme happiness or great comfort; perfect felicity; bliss; a sublime or exalted condition; as, a heaven of delight."A heavenof beauty."Shak."The brightest heavenof invention." [Shak.]"O bed! bed! delicious bed! That heaven upon earth to the weary head!" [Hood.]
Note: ☞ In this general sense heaven and its corresponding words in other languages have as various definite interpretations as there are phases of religious belief.
Note: ☞ Heaven is very often used, esp. 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.
Etymology: 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. gahamōn to put on, clothe one's self, G. hemd shirt, and perh. E. chemise