swastika


swas·ti·ka

noun \ˈswäs-ti-kə also swä-ˈstē-\

: a symbol in the form of a cross with its ends bent at right angles all in the same direction

Full Definition of SWASTIKA

1
:  a symbol or ornament in the form of a Greek cross with the ends of the arms extended at right angles all in the same rotary direction
2
:  a swastika used as a symbol of anti-Semitism or of Nazism

Origin of SWASTIKA

Sanskrit svastika, from svasti well-being, from su- well + as- to be; akin to Sanskrit asti he is, Old English is; from its being regarded as a good luck symbol
First Known Use: 1871

swastika

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, all in the same rotary direction, usually clockwise. It is used widely throughout the world as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. In India, it continues to be the most common auspicious symbol of Hindus and Jains, as well as for Buddhists, for whom it symbolizes the Buddha’s feet or footprints. In China and Japan, where it traveled with the spread of Buddhism, it has been used to denote plurality, prosperity, and long life. It occurs as a motif in early Christian and Byzantine art, as well as in Maya and Navajo art. The counterclockwise swastika, suggested as a general anti-Semitic symbol in 1910 by the German poet and nationalist Guido von List, was adopted as the symbol of the Nazi Party at its founding in 1919–20.

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