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Definition of Halo

  HALO   noun
Properly, a luminous ring encircling an astronomical body, but not infrequently confounded with 'aureola,' or 'nimbus,' a somewhat similar phenomenon worn as a head-dress by divinities and saints.  The halo is a purely optical illusion, produced by moisture in the air, in the manner of a rainbow; but the aureola is conferred as a sign of superior sanctity, in the same way as a bishop's mitre, or the Pope's tiara.  In the painting of the Nativity, by Szedgkin, a pious artist of Pesth, not only do the Virgin and the Child wear the nimbus, but an ass nibbling hay from the sacred manger is similarly decorated and, to his lasting honor be it said, appears to bear his unaccustomed dignity with a truly saintly grace.

Devil's Dictionarydefinition from:
The Devil's Dictionary
by Ambrose Bierce, 1911

Regular definition:
?he?l?u n. & v. --n. (pl. -oes) 1 a disc or circle of light shown surrounding the head of a sacred person. 2 the glory associated with an idealized person etc. 3 a circle of white or coloured light round a luminous body, esp. the sun or moon. 4 a circle or ring. --v.tr. (-oes, -oed) surround with a halo. [med.L f. L f. Gk halos threshing-floor, disc of the sun or moon]

Last updated: 9/3/2011 12:48:30