[ ree-buhs ]
See synonyms for rebus on
noun,plural re·bus·es.
  1. a representation of a word or phrase by pictures, symbols, etc., that suggest that word or phrase or its syllables: Two gates and a head is a rebus for Gateshead.

  2. a piece of writing containing many such representations.

Origin of rebus

First recorded in 1595–1605; from Latin rēbus “by things” (ablative plural of rēs ), in phrase nōn verbīs sed rēbus “not by words but by things”

Words Nearby rebus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use rebus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rebus


/ (ˈriːbəs) /

nounplural -buses
  1. a puzzle consisting of pictures representing syllables and words; in such a puzzle the word hear might be represented by H followed by a picture of an ear

  2. a heraldic emblem or device that is a pictorial representation of or pun on the name of the bearer

Origin of rebus

C17: from French rébus, from the Latin rēbus by things, from res

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