swas·​ti·​ka ˈswä-sti-kə How to pronounce swastika (audio)
 also  swä-ˈstē-
: a symbol or ornament in the form of a Greek cross with the ends of the arms extended at right angles all in the same rotary direction
: a swastika used as a symbol of anti-Semitism or of Nazism

Examples of swastika in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, a small group of neo-Nazis gathered in Orlando over Labor Day weekend to shout and wave swastika flags. Will Carless, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2023 And the city drew national attention last fall when hateful messages were projected on buildings and swastika flags and antisemitic banners draped off highway overpasses. Brittany Shammas, Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2023 Conroy, whose father ran the area’s youth football and lacrosse organization, turned out to have a swastika tattooed on his thigh. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker, 29 Aug. 2023 The firearms were marked in white pen with swastikas. Dennis Romero, NBC News, 27 Aug. 2023 The 46-year-old rapper’s return to the social media platform comes after Elon Musk suspended him from Twitter in December after West posted an image of a swastika inside a Star of David. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 30 July 2023 Ramaswamy doubled down on his comments days later, even after a white man displaying swastikas targeted and fatally shot three Black people in Jacksonville, Fla. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 1 Sep. 2023 All three were slain Saturday when a gunman with swastikas painted on his rifle opened fire at the Dollar General where Laguerre worked in Jacksonville. Russ Bynum, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Aug. 2023 Guns were purchased legally Photos of two weapons the gunman had were released by authorities, including one firearm with swastikas drawn on it. Nouran Salahieh, CNN, 28 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'swastika.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Sanskrit svastika, from svasti well-being, from su- well + as- to be; akin to Sanskrit asti he is, Old English is; from its being regarded as a good luck symbol

First Known Use

1871, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of swastika was in 1871

Dictionary Entries Near swastika

Cite this Entry

“Swastika.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swastika. Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


swas·​ti·​ka ˈswäs-ti-kə How to pronounce swastika (audio)
 also  swä-ˈstē-kə
: a symbol in the form of a cross with the ends of the arms bent at right angles all in the same direction

from a word in Sanskrit (the ancient language of India) svastika "a symbol in the form of a cross with bent arms," from svasti "well-being"

More from Merriam-Webster on swastika

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