Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A five-pointed star, often held to have magical or mystical significance, formed by five straight lines connecting the vertices of a pentagon and enclosing another pentagon in the completed figure. Also called pentagram.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A pentagram, especially a physical one used for magical or mystical purposes.
  • n. A pentagram enclosed within a circle, especially a physical one.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A five-pointed star, also called a pentagram or pentalpha. See illustr. under pentalpha. Sometimes referring to a similar figure, such as the figure composed of two equilateral triangles intersecting so as to form a six-pointed star. It was used in early ornamental art, and also with superstitious import by the astrologers and mystics of the Middle Ages. The six-pointed star is more comonly called a hexagram, or called Solomon's seal; it resembles the star of David (Magen David)

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Corrupt forms of pantofle.
  • n. A mathematical figure used in magical ceremonies, and considered a defense against demons.

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

  • n. a star with 5 points; formed by 5 straight lines between the vertices of a pentagon and enclosing another pentagon

Etymologies

Medieval Latin *pentāculum : Greek penta-, penta- + Latin -culum, diminutive suff.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the French pentacle ("a five-pointed star"), from Medieval Latin pentaculum. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Department of Veterans Affairs has refused to allow a symbol of the Wicca religion -- a five-pointed star within a circle, called a pentacle -- to be inscribed on U.S. military memorials or grave markers.

    July 2006

  • TODD: Well the spokesman for the Military Pagan Network tells CNN that the pentacle is a symbol of earth, air, fire, water and spirit.

    CNN Transcript Apr 24, 2007

  • Robert says that the pentacle was the symbol for the goddess, but doesn't mention the four element points.

    chsturtle Diary Entry

  • 'A pentacle is a piece of fine linen, folded with five corners, according to the five senses, and suitably inscribed with characters.

    Marmion

  • (This is also why there's been such a problem getting a Wiccan symbol approved - the pentacle is a universally recognized symbol of Wicca, but there's no official governing body to tell the VA that.)

    ScienceBlogs Channel : Life Science

  • The process was as follows: -- A black square was drawn in the palm of the boy's hand, or rather a kind of pentacle with an Arabic character inscribed at each angle.

    The Journal of Sir Walter Scott From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford

  • This star is an important symbol of life and power in the Pagan tradition, and is many times confused with the inverted pentacle, a symbol of Satanism.

    SciFi, Fantasy & Horror Collectibles - Part 123

  • Water was contaminated from objects falling from the sky, armies of at least 200 million were assembled, the world is simultaneously witnessing the events transpiring, and the Followers of Pan were bearing various forms of the pentacle with Gaia and Pan standing above, and the Euphrates River became barren.

    Laughing Gods

  • From beneath her skirt protruded a pair of Doc Marten boots, and the pentacle she wore on a thong round her neck was large enough to be seen from twenty paces.

    FINGERS • by Stef Hall

  • As he ducked under the tape, the girl with the pentacle caught his jacket.

    FINGERS • by Stef Hall

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • In some Tarot decks and in some traditions of Wicca, the suit or symbol associated with the North or the Earth realm

    Also, in some traditions of Wicca an altar tool used to represent the Earth realm and sometimes used as a kind of work surface for intricate processes used in ritual or spell work. As such, it is made of various types of materials, most often wood and is usually about the size of a small salad plate or saucer and inscribed in some fashion with a pentagram within a circle.

    January 22, 2008