urae·​us yu̇-ˈrē-əs How to pronounce uraeus (audio)
plural uraei yu̇-ˈrē-ˌī How to pronounce uraeus (audio)
: a representation of the sacred asp (Naja haje) appearing in ancient Egyptian art and especially on the headdress of rulers and serving as a symbol of sovereignty

Illustration of uraeus

Illustration of uraeus

Examples of uraeus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to a press release the front side of the relief depicts the head of a figure wearing a uraeus, or a cobra crown, a symbol of a pharaoh, though the lower half of the face is missing. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 26 Mar. 2018

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

Word History


New Latin, from Late Greek ouraios, a kind of snake

First Known Use

1832, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of uraeus was in 1832

Dictionary Entries Near uraeus

Cite this Entry

“Uraeus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uraeus. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

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