[an-sahy-lee, ahng-kee-ley]
noun, plural ancilia [an-sil-ee-uh, ahng-kil-] . Roman Religion.
a shield given by Mars to Numa Pompilius as the palladium of Rome.
any of 11 counterfeits of this shield, carried with it on ceremonial occasions.

1590–1600; < Latin ancīle, traditionally said to be equivalent to an- (variant of ambi- ambi- before c-) + -cīle (-cīd- combining form of caed(ere) to cut (cf. -cide) + *-sl- noun suffix + -e, earlier *-i, stem vowel for compounds), referring to the deep indentations in the waist of the shield Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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