Definition of rebus
: a representation of words or syllables by pictures of objects or by symbols whose names resemble the intended words or syllables in sound; also : a riddle made up of such pictures or symbols
rebus was our Word of the Day on 05/19/2017. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of rebus from the Web
A rebus, a romance, a gothic thriller and a woozy comedy, ‘
The pointed wit card collection includes 100 cards, each with a nostalgic looking graphic with a printed word, similar to a rebus.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rebus'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
rebus And a Lack of Words
A rebus communicates its message by means of pictures or symbols whose names sound like various parts of a word, phrase, or sentence. For example, a picture of a can of tomatoes, followed by the letters UC and a picture of a well means "Can you see well?" In Latin, the word rebus means "by things;" rebus is a form of the Latin word res, which means "thing." English speakers started using the word rebus for picture writing in the early 1600s.
REBUS Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rebus for English Language Learners
: a riddle or puzzle made up of letters, pictures, or symbols whose names sound like the parts or syllables of a word or phrase
REBUS Defined for Kids
Definition of rebus for Students
: a riddle or puzzle made up of letters, pictures, and symbols whose names sound like the syllables and words of a phrase or sentence I C U is a rebus.
Seen and Heard
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