swas·​ti·​ka | \ ˈswä-sti-kə How to pronounce swastika (audio) also swä-ˈstē- \

Definition of swastika

1 : 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
2 : a swastika used as a symbol of anti-Semitism or of Nazism

Examples of swastika in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Earlier this month, flyers with a swastika and the Star of David were found in various locations around ASU's campus. Alyssa Stoney, azcentral, "ASU students decry campus racist incidents amid string of national reports," 22 Nov. 2019 The incidents, which began less than two weeks ago, have included racist graffiti, swastikas and hate speech hurled at black and Asian students. New York Times, "Racist Manifesto Lands on Syracuse Students’ Phones, Deepening Crisis," 20 Nov. 2019 The second report, involving a car wash a block away, came about 7:45 a.m. Both buildings had swastikas and racial slurs on them, Minton said. Sarah Sarder, Dallas News, "Vandals deface buildings in East Arlington with swastikas and racial slurs," 27 Aug. 2019 Javed is both oppressed by his father’s rigid rules and cowed by the aggressions of local neo-Nazi youths, who chase him home, spit on him, and menace him and other people of color, daubing houses with slurs and swastikas. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "A Teen-Ager Is Saved by the Music of Bruce Springsteen in “Blinded by the Light”," 15 Aug. 2019 Not long after, graffiti of swastikas and racial slurs were found on campus. Stephanie Morales, The Seattle Times, "Task force formed after racist incidents releases findings," 21 Apr. 2018 On Friday, protesters marched over an Iranian flag painted on the pavement with a swastika added to it. BostonGlobe.com, "BAGHDAD — Tens of thousands of Iraqis massed in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Friday in the biggest demonstrations since anti-government protests erupted a month ago, defying security forces that have killed scores of people and harshly criticizing Iran’s involvement in the country’s affairs.," 2 Nov. 2019 The Nazi items include busts of Adolf Hitler, an instrument to measure people’s heads to supposedly determine their racial purity and statues of the Nazi eagle with a swastika under its talons. Washington Post, "Argentina Holocaust museum takes custody over Nazi artifacts," 3 Oct. 2019 Mitchell said swastikas, explicit images of male genitalia, racial slurs and other phrases had been spray-painted on the outside of the building. Fox News, "Tennessee church vandalized with racial slurs, images of male genitalia," 19 July 2019

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

1871, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for swastika

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

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Time Traveler for swastika

Time Traveler

The first known use of swastika was in 1871

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Statistics for swastika

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Swastika.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swastika. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for swastika


How to pronounce swastika (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of swastika

: a symbol in the form of a cross with its ends bent at right angles all in the same direction

More from Merriam-Webster on swastika

Spanish Central: Translation of swastika

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about swastika

Comments on swastika

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


delight or enjoyment

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