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rebus

[ree-buh s] /ˈri bəs/
noun, plural rebuses.
1.
a representation of a word or phrase by pictures, symbols, etc., that suggest that word or phrase or its syllables:
Two gates and a head is a rebus for Gateshead.
2.
a piece of writing containing many such representations.
Origin
1595-1605
1595-1605; < Latin rēbus by things (ablative plural of rēs), in phrase nōn verbīs sed rēbus not by words but by things
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for re-bus's

rebus

/ˈriːbəs/
noun (pl) -buses
1.
a puzzle consisting of pictures representing syllables and words; in such a puzzle the word hear might be represented by H followed by a picture of an ear
2.
a heraldic emblem or device that is a pictorial representation of or pun on the name of the bearer
Word Origin
C17: from French rébus, from the Latin rēbus by things, from res
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for re-bus's
rebus
1605, from L. rebus "by means of objects," ablative plural of res "thing, object," perhaps principally from the phrase de rebus quæ geruntur "of things which are going on," in reference to the satirical pieces composed by Picardy clerks at carnivals, subtle satires of current events using pictures to suggest words, phrases or things. Or it may be from the representations being non verbis sed rebus "not by words, but by things."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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