an object or its representation, symbolizing a quality, state, class of persons, etc.; symbol: The olive branch is an emblem of peace.
a sign, design, or figure that identifies or represents something: the emblem of a school.
an allegorical picture, often inscribed with a motto supplemental to the visual image with which it forms a single unit of meaning.
Obsolete. an inlaid or tessellated ornament.
verb (used with object)
to represent with an emblem.

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin emblēma inlaid or mosaic work < Greek émblēma something put on, equivalent to em- em-2 + blêma something thrown or put; compare embállein to throw in or on

1. token, sign, figure, image, device, badge.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
emblem (ˈɛmbləm)
1.  a visible object or representation that symbolizes a quality, type, group, etc, esp the concrete symbol of an abstract idea: the dove is an emblem of peace
2.  an allegorical picture containing a moral lesson, often with an explanatory motto or verses, esp one printed in an emblem book
[C15: from Latin emblēma raised decoration, mosaic, from Greek, literally: something inserted, from emballein to insert, from ballein to throw]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1430, from Fr. embleme "symbol," from L. emblema "inlaid ornamental work," from Gk. emblema (gen. emblematos) "embossed ornament," lit. "insertion," from emballein "to insert," lit. "to throw in," from em- "in" + ballein "to throw" (see ballistics).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The tired emblems of the past--the rainbow flags and leather outfits--retained their relevance there.
Back when wine was an elitist beverage, those dusty bottles labeled with geographic descriptors and family emblems made sense.
What she cared about was how they could function as emblems of the various beasts within us.
Having paid heavily to pump up their images, footwear-makers capitalize on their cachet by emblazoning their emblems on clothing.
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