from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The profession, study, or art of devising, granting, and blazoning arms, tracing genealogies, and determining and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms.
  • noun A branch of knowledge dealing with the history and description in proper terms of armorial bearings and their accessories.
  • noun Armorial ensigns or similar insignia.
  • noun Pomp and ceremony, especially attended with armorial trappings; pageantry.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The office or duty of a herald; specifically, the art and science of genealogy and precedence; the science of honorary distinctions, and especially of armorial bearings.
  • noun A heraldic emblazonment; a coat of arms.
  • noun Heraldic symbolism.
  • noun Pomp; ceremony.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The art or office of a herald; the art, practice, or science of recording genealogies, and blazoning arms or ensigns armorial; also, of marshaling cavalcades, processions, and public ceremonies.
  • noun A coat of arms or some other heraldic device or collection of heraldic symbols.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The profession or art of devising, granting and blazoning coats of arms, tracing genealogies and ruling on questions of protocol or rank
  • noun countable An armorial ensign along with its history and description
  • noun uncountable Pageantry

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun emblem indicating the right of a person to bear arms
  • noun the study and classification of armorial bearings and the tracing of genealogies


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • This is one of those passages for which the editor of that review has merited an abatement in heraldry, no such writing ever having been written; and indeed, by other like assertions of equal veracity, the gentleman has richly entitled himself to bear a gore sinister tenne in his escutcheon.

    Historical Documentation Concerning the Radical Piracy of _Wat Tyler_ 2007

  • More trivia: in heraldry, a vertical stripe on a flag is called a "pale" (the French tricolour is made up of three pales, for example).

    flags 2005

  • The auriferata (which is made of cloth of gold or of thin gold plates, and is not jewelled) is the one always used in English heraldry for an Anglican bishop or archbishop.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability 1840-1916 1913

  • As a matter of fact the six-pointed star was not adopted because of its use in English heraldry, while in Holland and

    The True Story of the American Flag John Henry Fow 1883

  • 'gagliarda' by Villani, that these groups of piles, pales, bends, and bars, were called in English heraldry 'Restrial bearings,'"in respect of their strength and solid substance, which is able to abide the stresse and force of any triall they shall be put unto."

    Val d'Arno John Ruskin 1859

  • Properly speaking, in heraldry, the Battle Flag was a darkish blue Cross of St. Andrew set in a red field with 13 stars inside the cross (actually, this isn’t proper heraldic terminology, but that’s neither an academic speciality nor personal interest of mine).

    Matthew Yglesias » Pro-Slavery 2010

  • Well, one of the very first things you learn about heraldry, is that it’s not a specific image that is linked to a particular person.

    Poetry in Unexpected Places « Write Anything 2008

  • Alfred plans to purchase pink PP-5 pellets, wrap them in Dutch heraldry:

    Black Swan, Pink PP-5: an Unfortunate Soviet-Style Cooperative Venture Marc Vincenz 2011

  • Thus it is difficult to prove that the heraldry is the origin of totemism, which is just as likely, or more likely, to have been the origin of savage heraldic crests and quarterings.

    Modern Mythology Andrew Lang 1878

  • She may be of far less importance in the great world of society than some Mrs. Smith, who, having nothing else, is set down as of the highest rank in that unpublished but well-known book of heraldry which is so thoroughly understood in America as a tradition.

    Manners and Social Usages Mrs. John M. E. W. Sherwood


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  • "Rules controlling use by noblemen of patterns used on flags, armor, and shields."

    August 25, 2008