1. often heavens The sky or universe as seen from the earth; the firmament.
a. often Heaven The abode of God, the angels, and the souls of those who are granted salvation.
b. An eternal state of communion with God; everlasting bliss.
3. Any of the places in or beyond the sky conceived of as domains of divine beings in various religions.
a. Heaven God: Heaven help you!
b. heavens Used in various phrases to express surprise: Good heavens!
5. often heavens The celestial powers; the gods: The heavens favored the young prince.
6. A condition or place of great happiness, delight, or pleasure: The lake was heaven.
move heaven and earth
To do everything possible to bring about something desired.
[Middle English heven, from Old English heofon; see ak- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.