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: encircled by a groove just inside the edge
a contorniate medal


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variants or less commonly contorniato
plural contorniates
also contorniati
: a thin bronze contorniate medallion of the Roman Empire first used about the time of Constantine the Great supposedly in connection with a game like chess

Word History



Italian contorniato, from past participle of contorniare to make a circuit or outline, from com- + torniare to surround, measure in circuit, from tornio, torno turning lathe, circuit, from Latin tornus lathe


contorniate from French, from Italian contorniato; contorniato from Italian, from contorniato, adjective

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Dictionary Entries Near contorniate

Cite this Entry

“Contorniate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

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