• synonyms


[bez-uh nt, bih-zant]
  1. Also bezzant. the gold solidus of the Byzantine Empire, widely circulated in the Middle Ages.
  2. Also byzant. (in Romanesque architecture) any of a number of disklike ornaments, similar in form to the classical patera, used especially on the faces of archivolts.
Show More
Also besant.

Origin of bezant

1150–1200; Middle English besant < Old French < Latin byzantius (nummus) Byzantine (coin)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bezant

Historical Examples of bezant

  • She made no reply, but took from a pocket a bezant, and contrived to throw its yellow gleam in the sentinel's eyes.

    The Prince of India, Volume II

    Lew. Wallace

  • There were moneys of various nations, even to the Spanish pistole and Turkish bezant.

  • At Samara we find Mr. Bezant, one of our consignees, just recovering from the typhus which was contracted in his relief work.

  • A bezant was a gold coin, originally struck at Byzantium, whence the name.

British Dictionary definitions for bezant


bezzant byzant

  1. a medieval Byzantine gold coin
  2. architect an ornament in the form of a flat disc
  3. heraldry a small gold circle
Show More

Word Origin for bezant

C13: from Old French besant, from Medieval Latin Bӯzantius Byzantine (coin)
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

Word Origin and History for bezant


gold coin, c.1200, from Old French besant (12c.), from Latin byzantius, short for Byzantius nummus "coin of Byzantium."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper