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[skar-uh b] /ˈskær əb/
any scarabaeid beetle, especially Scarabaeus sacer, regarded as sacred by the ancient Egyptians.
a representation or image of a beetle, much used among the ancient Egyptians as a symbol, seal, amulet, or the like.
a gem cut to resemble a beetle.
Also, scarabaeus (for defs 2, 3).
Origin of scarab
First recorded in 1570-80; short for scarabaeus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for scarab
Historical Examples
  • This scarab was in a ring on the finger of the mummy of a woman.

    Galusha the Magnificent Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The scarab Madge knew to be a beetle sacred to the Egyptians.

    Madge Morton's Secret

    Amy D. V. Chalmers
  • Into the glisten of a scarab is polished the prophecy of a life.

    Special Messenger

    Robert W. Chambers
  • This scarab is a poor thing, give it back to me and you shall have a better.

    Moon of Israel H. Rider Haggard
  • After the Christian era the influence of cult of the scarab was still felt.

    Scarabs Isaac Myer
  • The scarab it must be remembered was in the Egyptian thought, an androgyne.

    Scarabs Isaac Myer
  • Some figures have the scarab over the head, sometimes in place of the head.

    Scarabs Isaac Myer
  • Represented with the head and legs of a man the scarab was an emblem of Ptah.

    Scarabs Isaac Myer
  • It was made oval in the form of the base of the Egyptian scarab.

    Scarabs Isaac Myer
  • Hence the scarab was an emblem of the resurrection and immortality.

British Dictionary definitions for scarab


any scarabaeid beetle, esp Scarabaeus sacer (sacred scarab), regarded by the ancient Egyptians as divine
the scarab as represented on amulets, etc, of ancient Egypt, or in hieroglyphics as a symbol of the solar deity
Word Origin
C16: from Latin scarabaeus; probably related to Greek karabos horned beetle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scarab

"black dung beetle," held sacred by the ancient Egyptians, 1570s, from Middle French scarabeé, from Latin scarabaeus, name of a type of beetle, from Greek karabos "beetle, crayfish," a foreign word, according to Klein probably Macedonian (the suffix -bos is non-Greek). Related: Scarabaean. In ancient use, also a gem cut in a shape like a scarab beetle and with an inscription on the underside.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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