[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.

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

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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
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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper