: a cross having a loop for its upper vertical arm and serving especially in ancient Egypt as an emblem of life

Illustration of ankh

Illustration of ankh

Examples of ankh in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many fair folk attended, and Preston provided the central prop, a 19-foot ankh. Gillian Bagwell, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Sep. 2023 Corona showed me a collection of murals inside the courtyard with Black and Latino motifs: monarch butterflies, ankhs, Aztec gods, and an ibis in red, black and green, the colors of the Pan-African flag. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2023 Their medallion may have been an ankh, a star, a cross. Steve West, Sun Sentinel, 29 Sep. 2022 This incarnation of Death was not a scythe-wielding Grim Reaper but rather a cute goth girl with a spunky attitude and a pretty ankh symbol. Christian Holub, EW.com, 22 Aug. 2020 The ancient Egyptian symbol for life, the ankh—a cross shape with an oval loop—influenced the development of the cross known as the crux ansata, used extensively in Coptic symbolism. National Geographic, 19 Apr. 2019 In ancient Egypt the ankh was the symbol of both eternal life and a sacred metal, copper. Emily Dudding, Harper's BAZAAR, 13 Mar. 2014 Badu—an Afrofuturistic artist who uses fictional worlds, technology, and outer space in her videos—was perhaps the most stylistically influential with her larger-than-life head wraps, afro-wigs, face paint, and Egyptian ankh rings. Taylor Hosking, The Atlantic, 1 Mar. 2018 Holding a sparkling ankh, his cortege paused at Osiris's signature tables where he was cascaded with confetti and honorifics. Michael Dumas, AL.com, 7 Feb. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ankh.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Egyptian ʽnḫ live

First Known Use

1854, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ankh was in 1854

Dictionary Entries Near ankh

Cite this Entry

“Ankh.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ankh. Accessed 20 May. 2024.

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