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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Did You Know?

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 spraying appeared to be touched off when one counter-demonstrator kept pointing at an insignia on a security guard's uniform. NBC News, "Armed anti-abortion guards pepper spray counter-protesters at California Planned Parenthood," 14 Oct. 2020 Police have released few details about the shooting and have not named a suspect, but Danielson was seen wearing a hat with an insignia for a right-wing group that has been active in Portland. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Portland protests: Governor's plan faces criticism; Trump defends caravan of supporters," 1 Sep. 2020 His administration ordered up an outsize and militarized response, with law enforcement swelling from a host of federal agencies, some with no identifying insignia, and National Guard from the District and 12 states. Washington Post, "The freedom to assemble," 14 Jan. 2021 Instead, the agency says Bond paid a third-party promoter to stage the event at the Harvard Faculty Club using a fake Harvard insignia. CBS News, "RagingBull stock-trading site accused of $137 million fraud," 8 Dec. 2020 Her polo shirt bore the insignia of the Florida Department of Children and Families. USA Today, "Her memory of the midnight attack was muddled, but her battered body bore the story.," 17 Dec. 2020 In addition to being sworn in to the new service in the September ceremony, the new Space Force personnel received the uniform insignia that will differentiate them from the Air Force and other services. al, "Space Force swears in first personnel to military’s 6th branch," 19 Oct. 2020 The swastika as well as other Nazi insignia etched permanently on his torso were vivid, proud displays of white supremacist hate. Jill Tucker,, "A moment of doubt: Pandemic patient with swastika tattoo leaves Nor Cal doctor questioning his compassion," 30 Nov. 2020 The envelopes bore the insignia of many prominent college football programs across the country, like Louisiana State, Baylor, Oregon, Tennessee and Arizona State. David Waldstein, New York Times, "A Quarterback With N.F.L. Potential Pledges to an H.B.C.U., Joining a Trend," 23 Nov. 2020

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

2 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insignia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for insignia



English Language Learners Definition of insignia

: a badge or sign which shows that a person is a member of a particular group or has a particular rank


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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