uraeus

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English[edit]

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Bust of Tutankhamun with uraeus above the forehead.

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin uraeus, from Ancient Greek οὐραῖος (oúraĩos), from Egyptian

i r t

ỉꜥrt ‘cobra in threat posture’, from ỉꜥr ‘to rise, climb’.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

uraeus (plural uraei or uraeuses)

  1. A representation of the sacred asp, symbolising supreme power in ancient Egypt.
    • 1914, The Times, 20 May 1914, p.7 col. A:
      In front is an inlaid cobra, the Royal uræus, and around the band are attached 15 rosettes, each composed of four flowers and four leaves of openwork inlaid.
    • 1983, Norman Mailer, Ancient Evenings:
      even a fair amount of the gold His caravans returned from the Granite Mountains near the Red Sea, were now being fashioned by royal artisans into amulets, breast pieces, gold collars, bracelets, scarabs, uraei, even gold and silver shabti [...].
    • 2004, Michael Haag, Egypt‎, page 305
      In the small chamber opposite are Isis and Selket, and Nefertari's cartouche between two uraeuses.

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