[ gon-fuh-luh n ]
/ ˈgɒn fə lən /


a banner suspended from a crossbar, often with several streamers or tails.
a standard, especially one used by the medieval Italian republics.

Origin of gonfalon

1585–95; < Italian gonfalone < Middle French gonfalon, gonfanon < Germanic; see gonfanon
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Examples from the Web for gonfalon

British Dictionary definitions for gonfalon


gonfanon (ˈɡɒnfənən)

/ (ˈɡɒnfələn) /


a banner hanging from a crossbar, used esp by certain medieval Italian republics or in ecclesiastical processions
a battle flag suspended crosswise on a staff, usually having a serrated edge to give the appearance of streamers

Word Origin for gonfalon

C16: from Old Italian gonfalone, from Old French gonfalon, of Germanic origin; compare Old English gūthfana war banner, Old Norse gunnfani
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 gonfalon


1590s, variant of Middle English gonfanon (c.1300), from Old French gonfanon "knight's pennon" (12c.), from Old High German guntfano "battle flag," from Proto-Germanic *gunthja- "war," from PIE *gwhen- "to strike, kill" (see bane) + *fano "banner" (cf. Gothic fana "cloth"). Cognate with Old English guþfana, Old Norse gunnfani. Change of -n- to -l- by dissimilation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper