American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Heraldry A panel bearing the coat of arms of a deceased person.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In heraldry: An escutcheon or armorial shield granted in recognition of some distinguished achievement; an achievement (in sense 3).
- n. Especially — A funeral achievement; a square tablet set diagonally and bearing the arms of a deceased person, placed over a tomb or upon the exterior of the house in which the person dwelt. The surroundings of the shield of arms are so distinguished that the sex and condition of the deceased can be known: thus, an unmarried man has his shield and crest upon a black ground; an unmarried woman, a lozenge bearing her arms with a knot instead of a crest, also on a black ground. For married persons the shield is impaled (see
impalement); and in case a widow or widower survives, that half of the shield or lozenge which bears the arms of the survivor carries them upon a white background, the half appropriated to the deceased having a black background. A bishop's arms, being impaled with those of his see, are relieved on a black background, those of the see having a white one. When a person is the last of his race, a skull is put above the shield or lozenge in the place of the crest. In the case of a member of the Order of the Garter who is a married man, or of his wife, two shields are displayed side by side, that on the dexter side having the knight's arms alone surrounded by the motto of the order, that on the sinister having the coats of husband and wife.
- n. Hence Any distinguishing mark, badge of honor, symbol, or the like, as the sword of a soldier.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Her.) A sort of panel, upon which the arms of a deceased person are temporarily displayed, -- usually on the walls of his dwelling. It is lozenge-shaped or square, but is hung cornerwise. It is used in England as a means of giving public notification of the death of the deceased, his or her rank, whether married, widower, widow, etc. Called also
- n. A sword or other mark of the profession of arms; in general, a mark of dignity.
- Alteration of hachement, achiment, from achievement, escutcheon. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The hatchment is painted with the arms of Lord and Lady Nelson (estimate: £ 30,000 - £ 35,000).”
“The most important item will be a painted silk armorial hatchment from his state funeral car.”
“The house so drearily out of repair, the occasional bow – window, the stuccoed house, the newly – fronted house, the corner house with nothing but angular rooms, the house with the blinds always down, the house with the hatchment always up, the house where the collector has called for one quarter of an Idea, and found nobody at home — who has not dined with these?”
“Quartered in this dingy hatchment commemorative of”
“Over the low-arched gateway which led into the yard there was a carved stone, exhibiting some attempt at armorial bearings; and above the inner entrance hung, and had hung, for many years, the mouldering hatchment, which announced that umquhile Laurence Dumbie of Dumbiedikes had been gathered to his fathers in Newbattle kirkyard.”
“Having passed through Gaunt Square into Great Gaunt Street, the carriage at length stopped at a tall gloomy house between two other tall gloomy houses, each with a hatchment over the middle drawing-room window; as is the custom of houses in Great Gaunt”
“A grand painted hatchment was already over the great entrance, and two very solemn and tall personages in black flung open each a leaf of the door as the carriage pulled up at the familiar steps.”
“It was a feminine hatchment, and indeed a few years back had served as a funeral compliment to Sir”
“Its period of service over, the hatchment had come down from the front of the house, and lived in retirement somewhere in the back premises of”
“As he came back to Hatherly Court from the church, they were putting up the hatchment over the door, and Master Fred saw that the undertakers had put at the bottom “Resurgam”.”
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