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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from French chevron (rafter, chevron), the mark so called because it looks like rafters of a shallow roof, from Vulgar Latin *capriō, from Latin caper (goat), the likely connection between goats and rafters being the animal's angular hind legs.


  • IPA(key): /ˈʃɛvɹən/
  • (file)


chevron (plural chevrons)

  1. A V-shaped pattern; used in architecture, and as an insignia of military or police rank, on the sleeve.
  2. (heraldry) A wide inverted V placed on a shield.
  3. (chiefly Britain) One of the V-shaped markings on the surface of roads used to indicate minimum distances between vehicles.
    • 2009, Jamie Dunn, Truckie has a point, Sunshine Coast Daily Online, June 13, 2009.
      I told you that in fact they were called chevrons and it was an exercise by the transport department to teach us to stay two chevrons behind the car in front.
  4. A guillemet, either of the punctuation marks “«” or “»”, used in several languages to indicate passages of speech. Similar to typical quotation marks used in the English language such as “” and “”.
  5. An angle bracket, either used as a typographic or a scientific symbol.
  6. (informal) A háček, a diacritical mark that may resemble an inverted circumflex.
    • 1953, William James Entwistle, Aspects of Language (Faber and Faber), page 107
      It is pertinent to remember, however, that one of the greatest phoneticians, Jan Hus, used diacritics (in the form of points, which have later become chevrons in his own language), and that his alphabet is the most satisfactory for eastern Europe, since it has been officially adopted by the languages which use the Latin script.
    • 1976, Stephen J. Lieberman, The Sumerian Loanwords in Old-Babylonian Akkadian (Harvard Semitic Studies, issue 22; published by Scholars Press for Harvard Semitic Museum), page 66
      The symbol ř (“r” with a chevron) is used for a phoneme which sounds like Czech ř (as in Dvořák), i.e. a voiced alveolar flap. The presence of the chevron has no effect on the index numbers used in transliteration; cf. 2.058.



Further reading[edit]


chevron (third-person singular simple present chevrons, present participle chevroning, simple past and past participle chevroned)

  1. To form or be formed into chevrons
    • 1963, Lucien Victor Gewiss, "Process and Devices for Chevroning Pliable Sheet Material," US Patent 3397261 [1], page 14:
      ...the sheet to be chevroned locks itself into the furrow.
    • 1973, Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow:
      ... as a thick finger with a gob of very slippery jelly or cream comes sliding down the crack now towards his asshole, chevroning the hairs along like topo lines up a river valley...
    • 1983, Allen Sillitoe, The Lost Flying Boat, →ISBN, page 118:
      Bull fixed the claw under a batten, strained like a sailor at the capstan, shirt off, arms chevroned by elaborate tattoos.
    • 2003, Felice Picano, A House on the Ocean, a House on the Bay, →ISBN, page 55:
      Earlier, in glaring winter daylight, I'd first noticed thin lines chevroning off the edge of each eye into the taut skin of his cheeks...




From Old French, from Vulgar Latin *capriō, *capriōnem, from *capreus, cf. also caprone. Ultimately from Latin caper (goat).



chevron m (plural chevrons)

  1. rafter
  2. (heraldry) chevron

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]