plural ancilia
: any of 12 sacred shields of the ancient Romans that were thought to guarantee the preservation of the city

Word History


Latin, probably from ancidere to cut around, from an- (variant of ambi- around) + -cidere (from caedere to cut)

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ancile was in 1579

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Dictionary Entries Near ancile

Cite this Entry

“Ancile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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