9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[swos-ti-kuh or, esp. British, swas-] /ˈswɒs tɪ kə or, esp. British, ˈswæs-/
a figure used as a symbol or an ornament in the Old World and in America since prehistoric times, consisting of a cross with arms of equal length, each arm having a continuation at right angles.
this figure as the official emblem of the Nazi party and the Third Reich.
Origin of swastika
1850-55; < Sanskrit svastika, equivalent to su- good, well (cognate with Greek eu- eu-) + as- be (see is) + -ti- abstract noun suffix + -ka secondary noun suffix
Related forms
swastikaed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for swastika
  • It almost the same as swastika but in other direction.
  • If you must do all of the above, don't use a swastika atop a flak gun as your avatar.
  • When he returns, after several weeks of internment, the rabbi has been branded with a swastika on his head.
  • They find the old family home, with a fresh swastika painted on it, and return to the attic itself.
  • So it's crucial that the actor rebrand himself while the iron is hot unless he wants to don a swastika in every role.
  • We were doing what you want to do when you see a swastika.
  • In the background, bombs fall from the turbulent sky and a building flying the swastika lies in ruins.
  • Relatives of those buried there and the cemetery administration removed the swastika markings, but took photos as evidence.
British Dictionary definitions for swastika


a primitive religious symbol or ornament in the shape of a Greek cross, usually having the ends of the arms bent at right angles in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction
this symbol with clockwise arms, officially adopted in 1935 as the emblem of Nazi Germany
Word Origin
C19: from Sanskrit svastika, from svasti prosperity; from the belief that it brings good luck
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for swastika

Greek cross with arms bent at right angles, 1871 (later specifically as emblem of the Nazi party, 1932), from Sanskrit svastika-s, literally "being fortunate," from svasti-s "well-being, luck," from su- "well" + as-, root of asti "(he) is," which is from the same PIE root as Latin esse "to be" (see essence).

Also known as gammadion (Byzantine), cross cramponnee (heraldry), Thor's hammer, and, perhaps, fylfot. Originally an ancient cosmic or religious symbol thought to bring good luck. Use in reference to the Nazi emblem first recorded in English in 1932. The German word was Hakenkreuz, literally "hook-cross."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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