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[her-uh l-dree]
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noun, plural her·ald·ries.
  1. the science of armorial bearings.
  2. the art of blazoning armorial bearings, of settling the rights of persons to bear arms or to use certain bearings, of tracing and recording genealogies, of recording honors, and of deciding questions of precedence.
  3. the office or duty of a herald.
  4. a heraldic device, or a collection of such devices.
  5. a coat of arms; armorial bearings.
  6. heraldic symbolism.
  7. heraldic pomp or ceremony: The coronation was marked by all the magnificence of heraldry.
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Origin of heraldry

1350–1400; Middle English. See herald, -ry
Related formsher·ald·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for heraldry

Historical Examples

  • In all such cases the heraldry should be true, and not of the "bogus" kind.


    George Jack

  • These shields are figured in the Glossary of Heraldry, pp. 285, 286.

  • But why is this mere question of heraldry a matter of importance for the historian?

  • In heraldry, the common bucket is called a water bouget or budget.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • We have to vindicate the reputation of our Heraldry, as well in the one capacity as in the other.

British Dictionary definitions for heraldry


noun plural -ries
  1. the occupation or study concerned with the classification of armorial bearings, the allocation of rights to bear arms, the tracing of genealogies, etc
  2. the duties and pursuit of a herald
  3. armorial bearings, insignia, devices, etc
  4. heraldic symbols or symbolism
  5. the show and ceremony of heraldry
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Derived Formsheraldist, noun
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 heraldry


"art of arms and armorial bearings," late 14c., heraldy, from Old French hiraudie "heralds collectively," from hiraut (see herald (n.)). The spelling with -r- is attested from 1570s (cf. poetry, pedantry).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper