a fire or light set up in a high or prominent position as a warning, signal, or celebration:a chain of beacons carried the newsher red hair was like a beacon in the night figurativethe prospect of a new government was a beacon of hope for millions
[often in place names]British a hill suitable for a beacon:Ivinghoe Beacon
a light or other visible object serving as a signal, warning, or guide at sea, on an airfield, etc..
a radio transmitter whose signal helps to fix the position of a ship, aircraft, or spacecraft.
Old Englishbēacn 'sign, portent, ensign', of West Germanic origin; related to beckon