v. beck·oned, beck·on·ing, beck·ons
1. To signal or summon, as by nodding or waving.
2. To attract because of an inviting or enticing appearance: "a lovely, sunny country that seemed to beckon them on to the Emerald City" (L. Frank Baum).
1. To make a signaling or summoning gesture.
2. To be inviting or enticing.
A gesture of summons.
[Middle English bekenen, from Old English bīecnan, bēcnan; see bhā-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.