scar·​ab | \ ˈsker-əb How to pronounce scarab (audio) , ˈska-rəb \

Definition of scarab

1 : any of a family (Scarabaeidae) of stout-bodied beetles (such as a dung beetle) with lamellate or fan-shaped antennae
2 : a stone or faience beetle used in ancient Egypt as a talisman, ornament, and a symbol of resurrection

Examples of scarab in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Archaeologists are fortunate to have many scarab amulets produced during Amenhotep’s reign to commemorate special events. National Geographic, "King Tut's grandparents were Egypt's royal power couple," 17 Sep. 2020 An ancient spell inscribed on a scarab to ease the journey of the dead into the afterlife depicted birds without legs, to prevent them from wandering away from the spell. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, "Emojis Meet Hieroglyphs: If King Tut Could Text," 22 Jan. 2020 Fast forward another nine years and Bugatti replaced the Veyron with the Chiron, another scarab-like hypercar but this time with an even more powerful 8L W16 engine, packing almost 1,500hp (1,103kW). Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Bugatti found out just how fast the Chiron is, flat-out: 305 mph," 2 Sep. 2019 Tamut was mummified with a large sheet-metal falcon ornament and a scarab over what was once her heart. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "In Montreal, Egyptian Mummies, in 3-D, Have Secrets to Share," 18 Jan. 2020 Archaeologists also uncovered a large stone scarab and two smaller wood and sandstone depictions of the sacred beetle. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Reveal Rare Mummified Lion Cubs Unearthed in Egypt," 26 Nov. 2019 Made of amethyst, bone, faience, glass, turquoise, and umber, and including phallic amulets, scarabs, a woman, a dancing satyr, and a head of Dionysus, they are thought to be the treasure box of a sorceress. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 28 Oct. 2019 Images of scarabs were believed to bring good fortune, in this world and the next, if sewn in to the wrappings of your mummy. National Geographic, "6 surprisingly lucky animals around the world," 13 Mar. 2019 In ancient Egypt, the most important amulet was the scarab, usually modeled after the common Egyptian dung beetle, Scarabaeus sacer. National Geographic, "6 surprisingly lucky animals around the world," 13 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scarab.' 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 scarab

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scarab

Middle French scarabee, from Latin scarabaeus

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Cite this Entry

“Scarab.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for scarab



English Language Learners Definition of scarab

: a large beetle with a black shell


scar·​ab | \ ˈska-rəb How to pronounce scarab (audio) \

Kids Definition of scarab

: a large dark beetle used in ancient Egypt as a symbol of eternal life

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More from Merriam-Webster on scarab

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Nglish: Translation of scarab for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about scarab

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