Swastica

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Swastica A symbol or ornament in the form of a Greek cross with the ends of the arms at right angles all in the same direction, and each prolonged to the height of the parallel arm of the cross. A great many modified forms exist, ogee and volute as well as rectilinear, while various decorative designs, as Greek fret or meander, are derived from or closely associated with it. The swastika is found in remains from the Bronze Age in various parts of Europe, esp. at Hissarlik (Troy), and was in frequent use as late as the 10th century. It is found in ancient Persia, in India, where both Jains and Buddhists used (or still use) it as religious symbol, in China and Japan, and among Indian tribes of North, Central, and South America. It is usually thought to be a charm, talisman, or religious token, esp. a sign of good luck or benediction. Max MüLler distinguished from the swastika, with arms prolonged to the right, the suavastika, with arms prolonged to the left, but this distinction is not commonly recognized. Other names for the swastika are fylfot and gammadion.The swastika with arms bent to the right came to be used used as a symbol of Aryan supremacy by the Nazi party in Germany, 1933 - 1945; hence, it is now associated in the United States and European countries with Nazism or antisemitism. It is sometimes used by neo-nazis, or by antisemites as an antisemitic symbol.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Skr. svastika, fr. svasti, walfare; su, well + asti, being

Usage

In literature:

While simple swasticas are not found on any of the Sikyatki pottery, modified and compound forms are well represented.
"Archeological Expedition to Arizona in 1895" by Jesse Walter Fewkes
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