obelus

[ ob-uh-luhs ]

Part of Speech

noun (1),noun (2)

Definition

noun (1)

a symbol (†) used as a reference mark in printed matter, or to indicate that a person is deceased

noun (2)

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

Origin + Etymology

Late Middle English; Greek

via Latin from Greek obelos ‘pointed pillar’, also ‘critical mark’

Synonyms

noun (1)

  • symbol
  • indicator

noun (2)

  • symbol
  • indicator

Examples

noun (1)

The obelus was used as a reference mark to indicate that the gentleman was deceased.

noun (2)

The obelus was used to mark a word or passage that was corrupt or doubtful.

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