in·​sig·​nia | \ in-ˈsig-nē-ə How to pronounce insignia (audio) \
variants: or less commonly insigne \ in-​ˈsig-​(ˌ)nē How to pronounce insignia (audio) \
plural insignia or insignias

Definition of insignia

1 : a badge of authority or honor
2 : 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 organization's insignia is also present in the margin of the video. Kate S. Petersen, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2022 There’s also been the logo for the militia movement Three Percenters and men wearing Proud Boys insignia, calls for a citizens’ arrest of Biden and Vice President Harris, QAnon propaganda and rampant misinformation about the novel coronavirus. Washington Post, 11 Mar. 2022 Can France, the country that gave the Enlightenment its name, really be the first country to ban religious insignia in public? Arthur Goldhammer, The New Republic, 21 Apr. 2022 The gunmen wore Taliban insignia and drove a confiscated green pickup truck, previously issued to Afghan police and now used exclusively by the Taliban. Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2021 Additional emergency vehicles, including a truck adorned with the insignia of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, also arrived on the scene. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2022 National flags and official military insignia are not clearly visible on the uniforms the troops in the video wear. Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2022 Instead, in the lower half of the circular insignia, a river winds into the background before splitting into three: the Milwaukee, the Menomonee and the Kinnickinnic. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 Mar. 2022 Witnesses reported that members of the group were displaying Nazi insignia and yelling anti-Semitic slurs at passing vehicles. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 7 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insignia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of insignia

1648, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for insignia

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

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Time Traveler for insignia

Time Traveler

The first known use of insignia was in 1648

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Statistics for insignia

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Insignia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for insignia


in·​sig·​nia | \ in-ˈsig-nē-ə How to pronounce insignia (audio) \
plural insignia or insignias

Kids Definition of insignia

: an emblem of a certain office, authority, or honor


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