Definition of emblem noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈembləm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈembləm//
    emblem (of something)
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  1. 1a design or picture that represents a country or an organization America’s national emblem, the bald eagle the club emblem CultureemblemsEmblems, logos and other symbols are widely used as a simple way of identifying countries, states, organizations, companies and sports teams.Emblems of Great Britain include the figure of Britannia, a woman in long robes carrying a shield with a Union Jack pattern. Each country within the United Kingdom has a national emblem, as well as its own flag. England's official emblem is a red rose. Red and white roses were chosen as emblems during the Wars of the Roses. Afterwards, the two were combined in the Tudor rose. Other emblems include a bulldog, often wearing a Union Jack waistcoat, and John Bull, an old-fashioned, fat country gentleman. Wales has two plants, the leek and the daffodil, and the Welsh dragon as its emblems, and also uses the figure of a Welsh woman dressed in traditional costume. Welsh people often wear a daffodil on St David's Day. Scotland has the thistle (= a prickly weed) as its official emblem, but a tartan pattern is used on many products made in Scotland. The national symbol of Northern Ireland is the Red Hand of Ulster, which appears on its flag. The shamrock and harp are also associated with Ireland and the shamrock is the emblem of the Republic of Ireland.Members of the British royal family and the aristocracy have coats of arms. The royal arms are placed behind judges and magistrates in law courts as a symbol of authority. Below the arms is the motto (= phrase with special meaning) Dieu et mon droit, French for ‘God and my right’. Some commercial organizations whose products have royal approval are granted special permission to show the royal arms on their products.The best-known emblem of the British government is the portcullis (= a barred, chained gate) that appears on official government papers. The Great Seal of the United States, which appears on US money and government documents, shows a bald eagle, a very large bird which is itself a symbol of the US, and the Latin motto e pluribus unum which refers to the fact that the US is one country made up from many individual states.Each US state has a variety of emblems, including animals and plants which are commonly found in that state. For example, Michigan has a state bird (the robin), a state fish (the trout), a state flower (the apple blossom), a state insect (the dragonfly) and a state stone (the Petoskey stone). These symbols may appear on the state flag and on official documents.Most commercial organizations, charities, political parties, sports clubs, etc. have an emblem that they put on flags, notepaper, badges and vehicles, sometimes together with their initials. These emblems are often so well known that there is no need for the organization's name to be added. They may involve a picture that suggests the name, e.g. a picture of an apple for Apple™ computers, or the name written in a particular way. Such commercial emblems can be very valuable and may be registered as trademarks, to prevent anyone else using them.
  2. 2something that represents a perfect example or a principle The dove is an emblem of peace.
  3. Word Originlate 16th cent. (as a verb): from Latin emblema ‘inlaid work, raised ornament’, from Greek emblēma ‘insertion’, from emballein ‘throw in, insert’, from em- ‘in’ + ballein ‘to throw’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: emblem