in·​sig·​nia in-ˈsig-nē-ə How to pronounce insignia (audio)
variants or less commonly insigne
plural insignia or insignias
: a badge of authority or honor
: a distinguishing mark or sign

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Insignia are the official signs of rank, titles, or awards. Medals are an example, as are the crowns of monarchs. The Catholic church employs such insignia as the red robes of cardinals. U.S. presidents have the presidential seal, which appears on the stand when they're giving a speech. But most of us think first of the bars, stripes, badges, and patches of military rank.

Examples of insignia in a Sentence

Their jackets have the school's insignia on the front.
Recent Examples on the Web The evening began on the Bar Funke rooftop, where the party sipped on signature cocktails featuring ice cubes bearing the Saks insignia. Rachel Marlowe, Vogue, 1 Dec. 2023 These include goblets engraved with double-headed eagles or the insignia and portraits of Russian empresses. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 26 June 2023 It was filled with dust-lacquered machinery, lugged from cities as distant as Cincinnati and stamped with the manufacturers’ insignia: Southwark Foundry and Machine Co., Brown & Sharpe, Westinghouse. Terrence McCoy, Washington Post, 28 July 2023 Active soldiers have left hundreds of contemporary military patches — the insignia of their units. Patricia Cohen, New York Times, 23 June 2023 To that end, South Pole was launching a new insignia. Heidi Blake, The New Yorker, 16 Oct. 2023 The Grove had been transformed into Swift City — Taylor and Eras Tour insignia everywhere, concrete flooring replaced with a sprawling red carpet, temporary walls erected to keep out the riff raff. Alejandra Gularte, Vulture, 12 Oct. 2023 At a training site hundreds of feet from the Erez Crossing, a wall of a building has a drawing of two palm trees and an animal figure that looks similar to Israel’s Erez Crossing battalion’s insignia. Paul P. Murphy, CNN, 12 Oct. 2023 Crooklyn insignia is available on mugs, t-shirts, pins, and other merchandise. Essence, 5 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Latin insignia, plural of insigne mark, badge, from neuter of insignis marked, distinguished, from in- + signum mark — more at sign

First Known Use

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of insignia was in 1648

Dictionary Entries Near insignia

Cite this Entry

“Insignia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​sig·​nia in-ˈsig-nē-ə How to pronounce insignia (audio)
plural insignia or insignias
: an emblem of a special authority, office, or honor : badge
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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