scar·ab | \ ˈsker-əb , 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

This image shows the decoration of a large funerary scarab made from green semiprecious stone. Chris Giles, CNN, "Stunning photos capture Egypt's ancient underworld," 27 Mar. 2018 At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton used the notion of metamorphosis — as in the life cycle of scarab beetles and butterflies that begin as one thing and end up as something quite different — as a way of exploring hybrid dressing. Adam Tschorn,, "Paris Fashion Week trend takeaway: pops of purple, silver belles, giant jackets, winter florals and haute hybrids," 9 Mar. 2018 Consider the dung-roller scarabs, revered by the Ancient Egyptians and the subjects of many a film documentary. Richard Jones, Smithsonian, "All Praise The Humble Dung Beetle," 10 Jan. 2018 If that’s the case, this young royal was likely laid to rest wearing a scarab that bore the title of the city’s ruler. National Geographic, "5,000-Year-Old Cosmetics, Jewelry Show Rise of Ancient Jericho," 19 Dec. 2017 Though a few locals periodically offer tourists – and reporters – scarabs for sale, there’s been no evidence of widespread looting around Qurna for years. Peter Schwartzstein, Smithsonian, "The Greatest Clash in Egyptian Archaeology May Be Fading, But Anger Lives On," 11 Dec. 2017 Almost every act that followed was equally entertaining, from the couple performing together in an aerial act to the contortionist spiders to the scarabs on the trapeze. Jennifer Jhon, South Florida Parenting, "Jumping, juggling bugs captivate children at 'Ovo'," 14 July 2017 The dining room is painted a moodier indigo, with a contrasting tile featuring scarabs in four different blues. Roslyn Sulcas, ELLE Decor, "HOUSE TOUR: A 1950s Home In Morocco Mixes Pattern To Perfection," 1 Sep. 2015 Sofia Boutella brings a gorgeous intensity to her role, and there’s none of the scarab-chewing grossness of Arnold Vosloo’s mummy in 1999, or the looming menace of Karloff, or the grodily flaking flesh of Christopher Lee in 1959. Josephine Livingstone, New Republic, "What Happened to the Scary Summer Horror Movie?," 16 June 2017

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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Time Traveler for scarab

The first known use of scarab was in 1579

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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 \

Kids Definition of scarab

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

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Comments on scarab

What made you want to look up scarab? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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