swastika

[ swos-ti-kuh or, esp. British, swas- ]
/ ˈswɒs tɪ kə or, esp. British, ˈswæs- /

noun

a figure used as a symbol or an ornament in the Old World and in America since prehistoric times, consisting of a cross with arms of equal length, each arm having a continuation at right angles.
this figure as the official emblem of the Nazi party and the Third Reich.

Origin of swastika

1850–55; < Sanskrit svastika, equivalent to su- good, well (cognate with Greek eu- eu-) + as- be (see is) + -ti- abstract noun suffix + -ka secondary noun suffix
Related formsswas·ti·kaed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for swastika

British Dictionary definitions for swastika

swastika

/ (ˈswɒstɪkə) /

noun

a primitive religious symbol or ornament in the shape of a Greek cross, usually having the ends of the arms bent at right angles in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction
this symbol with clockwise arms, officially adopted in 1935 as the emblem of Nazi Germany

Word Origin for swastika

C19: from Sanskrit svastika, from svasti prosperity; from the belief that it brings good luck
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 swastika

swastika


n.

Greek cross with arms bent at right angles, 1871 (later specifically as emblem of the Nazi party, 1932), from Sanskrit svastika-s, literally "being fortunate," from svasti-s "well-being, luck," from su- "well" + as-, root of asti "(he) is," which is from the same PIE root as Latin esse "to be" (see essence).

Also known as gammadion (Byzantine), cross cramponnee (heraldry), Thor's hammer, and, perhaps, fylfot. Originally an ancient cosmic or religious symbol thought to bring good luck. Use in reference to the Nazi emblem first recorded in English in 1932. The German word was Hakenkreuz, literally "hook-cross."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper