• synonyms


[an-sahy-lee, ahng-kee-ley]
noun, plural an·cil·i·a [an-sil-ee-uh, ahng-kil-] /ænˈsɪl i ə, ɑŋˈkɪl-/. Roman Religion.
  1. a shield given by Mars to Numa Pompilius as the palladium of Rome.
  2. any of 11 counterfeits of this shield, carried with it on ceremonial occasions.
Show More

Origin of ancile

1590–1600; < Latin ancīle, traditionally said to be equivalent to an- (variant of ambi- ambi- before c-) + -cīle (-cīd- combining form of caed(ere) to cut (cf. -cide) + *-sl- noun suffix + -e, earlier *-i, stem vowel for compounds), referring to the deep indentations in the waist of the shield
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ancile

Historical Examples

  • Shortly after, Julian plainly accuses Christians of worshipping the wood of the Cross, though they refused to worship the ancile.

    An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

    John Henry Cardinal Newman

  • The first Ancile was supposed to have fallen from heaven in answer to the prayer of Numa Pompilius.