See also: Swastika


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Hindu swastika.
Nazi swastika


From Sanskrit स्वस्तिक ‎(svástika), from सु ‎(, good, well) + अस्ति ‎(ásti-), a verbal abstract of the root of the verb "to be", svasti thus meaning "well-being" — and the diminutive suffix ‎(-ka); hence "little thing associated with well-being", corresponding roughly to "lucky charm". First attestation in English in 1871, a Sanskritism that replaced the Grecian term gammadion. From 1932 onwards it often referred specifically to the visually similar hooked cross (German: Hakenkreuz) emblem popularized by the Nazi party.


swastika ‎(plural swastikas)

  1. A cross with arms of equal length all bent halfway along at a 90° angle to the right or to the left, used as a religious symbol by various ancient and modern civilizations, and adopted more recently (with arms angled to the right) as a symbol of Nazism and fascism.
    • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Sending of Dana Da’, In Black and White (Folio Society 2005), page 423-4:
      This was signed by Dana Da, who added pentacles and pentagrams, and a crux ansata, and half-a-dozen swastikas, and a Triple Tau to his name, just to show that he was all he laid claim to be.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity (Penguin 2010), page 270:
      It is clear from archaeological finds that they enjoyed wearing Christian crosses, though they might enliven these with such symbols as the Indian swastika which Buddhists had brought them.






swastika f, m ‎(plural swastika's)

  1. swastika
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