Hypertext Webster Gateway: "emblem"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Emblem \Em"blem\, n. [F. embl[`e]me, L. emblema, -atis, that
which is put in or on, inlaid work, fr. Gr. ? a thing put in
or on, fr. ? to throw, lay, put in; ? in + ? to throw. See
{In}, and {Parable}.]
1. Inlay; inlaid or mosaic work; something ornamental
inserted in a surface. [Obs.] --Milton.

2. A visible sign of an idea; an object, or the figure of an
object, symbolizing and suggesting another object, or an
idea, by natural aptness or by association; a figurative
representation; a typical designation; a symbol; as, a
balance is an emblem of justice; a scepter, the emblem of
sovereignty or power; a circle, the emblem of eternity.
``His cicatrice, an emblem of war, here on his sinister
cheek.'' --Shak.

3. A picture accompanied with a motto, a set of verse, or the
like, intended as a moral lesson or meditation.

Note: Writers and artists of the 17th century gave much
attention and study to the composition of such emblems,
and many collections of them were published.

Syn: Sign; symbol; type; device; signal; token.

Usage: {Sign}, {Emblem}, {Symbol}, {Type}. Sign is the
generic word comprehending all significant
representations. An emblem is a visible object
representing another by a natural suggestion of
characteristic qualities, or an habitual and
recognized association; as, a circle, having no
apparent beginning or end, is an emblem of eternity; a
particular flag is the emblem of the country or ship
which has adopted it for a sign and with which it is
habitually associated. Between emblem and symbol the
distinction is slight, and often one may be
substituted for the other without impropriety. See
{Symbol}. Thus, a circle is either an emblem or a
symbol of eternity; a scepter, either an emblem or a
symbol of authority; a lamb, either an emblem or a
symbol of meekness. ``An emblem is always of something
simple; a symbol may be of something complex, as of a
transaction . . . In consequence we do not speak of
actions emblematic.'' --C. J. Smith. A type is a
representative example, or model, exhibiting the
qualities common to all individuals of the class to
which it belongs; as, the Monitor is a type of a class
of war vessels.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Emblem \Em"blem\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Emblemed}; p. pr. & vb.
n. {Embleming}.]
To represent by an emblem; to symbolize. [R.]

Emblemed by the cozening fig tree. --Feltham.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: special design or visual object representing a quality,
type, group, etc.
2: a visible symbol representing an abstract idea [syn: {allegory}]

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