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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).]
(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
Char•on(ˈkɛər ən, ˈkær-)
a ferryman of Greek myth who conveyed the souls of the dead across the Styx.
Cha•ron•ic (kəˈrɒn ɪk) adj.