[ob-uh-luh s]

noun, plural ob·e·li [ob-uh-lahy] /ˈɒb əˌlaɪ/.

a mark (− or ÷) used in ancient manuscripts to point out spurious, corrupt, doubtful, or superfluous words or passages.

Origin of obelus

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin < Greek obelós spit, pointed pillar
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British Dictionary definitions for obelus


noun plural -li (-ˌlaɪ)

a mark (— or ÷) used in editions of ancient documents to indicate spurious words or passages
another name for dagger (def. 2)

Word Origin for obelus

C14: via Late Latin from Greek obelos spit
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