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Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph signifying life, consisting of a cross surmounted by a loop. In tomb inscriptions, gods and pharaohs are often pictured holding the ankh, which forms part of the hieroglyph for concepts such as health and happiness. It is used as a cross in the Coptic Orthodox Church.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ankh, visit Britannica.com.