Word of the Day : May 19, 2017


noun REE-bus


: a representation of syllables or words by means of pictures or symbols; also : a riddle made up of such pictures or symbols

Did You Know?

A rebus communicates its message by means of pictures or symbols whose names sound like various parts of a word, phrase, or sentence. For example, a picture of a can of tomatoes followed by the letters UC and a picture of a well means "Can you see well?" In Latin, the word rebus means "by things"; rebus is a form of the Latin word res, which means "thing." English speakers started using the word rebus for picture writing in the early 1600s.


The answer to yesterday's rebus, which showed a man on an ark, a spider web, and a spoon stirring coffee, was "Noah Webster."

"The books are rebuses: They combine normally written words with emojis that substitute for words or parts of words." — Jessica Roy, The Los Angeles Times, 14 Dec. 2016

Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to complete a word for a letter, symbol, or sign used to represent an entire word, such as $ for dollar: lo _ _ g _ a _.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!