American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A representation of words in the form of pictures or symbols, often presented as a puzzle.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A puzzle or riddle consisting of words or phrases represented by figures or pictures of objects whose names resemble in sound those words or phrases or the syllables of which they are composed; an enigmatical representation of words by means of figures or pictures suggestive of them.
- n. In heraldry:
- n. A bearing or succession of bearings which make up the name or a word expressing the profession or office of the bearer. The origin of many bearings in early heraldry is such an allusion; and on the other hand many proper names have been derived from the bearings, these having been granted originally to persons having a name or territorial designation which a descendant, perhaps of a younger branch abandoned for the allusive surname suggested by the bearing: thus, in the case of the name Tremain, and the bearing of three human hands, either the bearing or the name may have originated the other. Also called
- n. A motto in which a part of the phrase is expressed by representations of objects instead of by words. In a few rare cases the whole motto is thus given. Such mottos are not commonly borne with the escutcheon and crest, but form rather a device or impresa, as the figure of a sun-dial preceded by the words “we must,” meaning “we must die all,”
- To mark with a rebus; indicate by a rebus.
- n. A kind of word puzzle which uses pictures to represent words or parts of words.
- v. transitive To mark or indicate by a rebus.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A mode of expressing words and phrases by pictures of objects whose names resemble those words, or the syllables of which they are composed; enigmatical representation of words by figures; hence, a peculiar form of riddle made up of such representations.
- n. (Her.) A pictorial suggestion on a coat of arms of the name of the person to whom it belongs. See Canting arms, under Canting.
- v. To mark or indicate by a rebus.
- n. a puzzle where you decode a message consisting of pictures representing syllables and words
- From French rébus, from Latin rebus (ablative plural of res ‘thing’), as taken from the phrase de rebus quae geruntur ‘concerning the things that are taking place’, used in sixteenth-century Picardie as the name for satirical pieces containing picture-riddles. (Wiktionary)
- From Latin rēbus, ablative pl. of rēs, thing; see rē- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“A secret society manipulating the course of history so that matters would come out right would not, in rebus ipses, be thought a thing worth fighting by a skiffy reader.”
“Gero Pius Caputsapiens (Germanice Weishaupt), persona in rebus”
“In the case of _Quetzalcoatl_ or CUKULCAN, the rebus was the means of getting the name; and if the names of this divinity had not been equivalent in the two tongues, our results would have led us to the”
Studies in Central American Picture-Writing First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1879-80, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1881, pages 205-245
“The next step is what we might call rebus-writing, where not the thing itself was meant but the sound.”
“This difficult but all-important step appears to have been taken through the use of the rebus, that is, writing words by pictures of objects which stand for sounds.”
“The rebus is the bridge from the writing of thoughts to the writing of sounds, and it came into use through the necessity of writing proper names.”
“This is pictorial phonetism; and pictorial phonetism is, in fact, pictorial punning, of the sort commonly known as the rebus, or charade.”
“His rebus is a ram wearing a collar with the letters R.Y.G.E. inscribed on it.”
“According to the dictionary, a rebus is a representation of words or syllables depicted by pictures of objects or by symbols whose names resemble the intended words or syllables in sound; a riddle made up of pictures or symbols.”
“Familiar examples of the rebus are the owl with a scroll in its beak bearing the letters dom for Bishop Oldham in his chantry at Exeter, and the human eye with a branch (or slip) of a tree for Abbot Islip in Westminster Abbey.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘rebus’.
A complete Barron's Wordlist for GRE preparation. Your online flashcard replacement.
This used to be my nym list, but there are so many words about words, I think it's time to expand and open.
My ambition is to build a list with the names for
1. ALL types of word formation
2. the words put together by 1.
using a strict definition: e.g. "antonym", "aptronym" "palindrom...
Words and phrases used in blazoning heraldic devices, along with names and other terms associated with the art and science.
Other similar lists can be found on Wordnik, especially that...
Nowhere else to put these yet.
Words as I learn them.
Words with the letter b within the word, not just as the initial or last letter.
Looking for tweets for rebus.