From International Dictionary of Marine Aids to Navigation
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A fixed artificial navigation mark that can be recognised by its shape, colour, pattern, topmark or light character, or a combination of these.

It may carry various additional aids to navigation.

Note: 1 This term is not commonly used when the navigation mark can be classified as a lighthouse.

Note: 2 The terms light, light beacon and lighted beacon refer to a beacon that carries a signal light.

Note: 3 The terms unlighted beacon and unlit beacon refer to a beacon that does not carry a signal light.

Please note that this is the term as it stands in the original IALA Dictionary edition (1970-1989)