Obelus

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Obelus (Print) A mark [thus —, or ÷]; -- so called as resembling a needle. In old MSS. or editions of the classics, it marks suspected passages or readings.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n obelus A mark, so called from its resemblance to a spit, usually made like a dash, thus —, or like an obelisk, thus , and employed in ancient manuscripts to indicate a suspected passage or reading. The latter of these signs is still commonly used in editions of the classics for the same purpose. Another form of the obelus, ÷, similar to our sign of division, was used by the ancients to mark passages as superfluous, especially in philosophical writings.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Obelus a mark ( — or ÷ ) used in ancient MSS. to mark suspected passages, esp. in the Septuagint to indicate passages not in the Hebrew:—pl. Ob′eli
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., fr. Gr. 'obelo`s, prop., a spit
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Through Fr. and L., from Gr. obeliskos, dim. of obelos, a spit.