Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


n. Greek Mythology
1. (kâr′ən) The ferryman who conveyed the dead to Hades over the river Styx.
2. (kâr′ən, shâr′-) Astronomy The largest of Pluto's satellites.

[Latin Charōn, from Greek Kharōn, Kharōn-, possibly an ironic or apotropaic use (with reference to Charon's gloomy task) of the Greek male personal name Kharōn (from khairein, khar-, to rejoice, delight in, be glad to; see gher- in Indo-European roots) or a hypocorism from kharopos, having flashing or bright eyes, fierce, grim (probably khairein + -op-; akin to Greek ōps, ōp-, eye, and op-s-, suppletive future stem of horān, to see; see Pelops). Sense 2, originally coined (without knowledge of the name of the mythological figure) by James W. Christy (born 1938), American astronomer who discovered Charon in 1978 : Char, nickname of Charlene Christy, his wife + -on, noun suffix common in scientific vocabulary; see -on1, (although Christy soon discovered that by fortunate coincidence his coinage corresponded exactly to the name of a figure associated with the god Pluto).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth the ferryman who brought the dead across the rivers Styx or Acheron to Hades


(Celestial Objects) the only known satellite of Pluto, discovered in 1978
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkɛər ən, ˈkær-)

a ferryman of Greek myth who conveyed the souls of the dead across the Styx.
Cha•ron•ic (kəˈrɒn ɪk) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Charon - (Greek mythology) the ferryman who brought the souls of the dead across the river Styx or the river Acheron to HadesCharon - (Greek mythology) the ferryman who brought the souls of the dead across the river Styx or the river Acheron to Hades
Greek mythology - the mythology of the ancient Greeks
ferryman - a man who operates a ferry
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈkɛərən] nCaronte m
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
I heard him a little while afterwards, through the floor here, humming like the wind, the only song he knows-- about Bibo, and old Charon, and Bibo being drunk when he died, or something or other.
The foreigners were deported to Nizhni by boat, and Rostopchin had said to them in French: "Rentrez en vousmemes; entrez dans la barque, et n'en faites pas une barque de Charon."* There was talk of all the government offices having been already removed from Moscow, and to this Shinshin's witticism was added- that for that alone Moscow ought to be grateful to Napoleon.
*"Think it over; get into the barque, and take care not to make it a barque of Charon."
All this, unexpectedly encountered, took Don Quixote somewhat aback, and struck terror into the heart of Sancho; but the next instant Don Quixote was glad of it, believing that some new perilous adventure was presenting itself to him, and under this impression, and with a spirit prepared to face any danger, he planted himself in front of the cart, and in a loud and menacing tone, exclaimed, "Carter, or coachman, or devil, or whatever thou art, tell me at once who thou art, whither thou art going, and who these folk are thou carriest in thy wagon, which looks more like Charon's boat than an ordinary cart."
For all that any man may gainsay, the ketch Arangi, trader and blackbirder in the Solomon Islands, may have signified in Jerry's mind as much the mysterious boat that traffics between the two worlds, as, at one time, the boat that Charon sculled across the Styx signified to the human mind.
Quand un bon vin meuble mon estomac, Je suis plus savant que Balzac - Plus sage que Pibrac ; Mon brass seul faisant l'attaque De la nation Coseaque, La mettroit au sac ; De Charon je passerois le lac, En dormant dans son bac ; J'irois au fier Eac, Sans que mon cœur fit tic ni tac, Présenter du tabac.
The evidence for the paucity of small Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) comes from New Horizons imaging that revealed a dearth of small craters on Pluto's largest satellite, Charon, indicating that impactors from 300 feet to 1 mile (91 meters to 1.6 km) in diameter must also be rare.
A new character joining in "An Obol for Charon" is simply referred to as Number One (Rebecca Romijn).
Now offered as a formalized program--either in many medical schools as an elective or in humanities programs--the field was pioneered by Rita Charon, executive director of the Narrative Medicine Program at Columbia University.
Khazanah said Datuk Charon Mokhzani, Executive Director, Managing Director's Office and Managing Director of Khazanah Research Institute (KRI), would be leaving Khazanah and the institute in mid-May 2018, after serving for nearly five years.
Narrative medicine program was founded by Dr Rita Charon in 2001 at Columbia University Medical Center.