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From Middle French periapte, from Ancient Greek περίαπτον (períapton, amulet), noun use of περίαπτος (períaptos, hung round), from περι- (peri-, peri-) + ἅπτος (háptos, fastened).



periapt (plural periapts)

  1. A charm worn on a necklace; an amulet. [from 16th c.]
    • 1825, Walter Scott, The Talisman, A.L. Burt Company (1832), 9-10:
      Of all people who ever lived, the Persians were perhaps most remarkable for their unshaken credulity in amulets, spells, periapts, and similar charms, framed, it was said, under the influence of particular planets, and bestowing high medical powers, as well as the means of advancing men's fortunes in various manners.
    • 1864, Thomas Oswald Cockayne, Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England, volume 1, preface, page xx
      The occipital bone of an asses head in a skin is also a good periapt.
    • 1867, Charles William King, The Natural History of Precious Stones and of the Precious Metals, Bell & Daldy (London), Deighton, Bell, & Co. (Cambridge), page 326
      [Aaron’s Breastplate] was a decoration, from the costliness of its nature; a periapt, for it was suspended round his neck by golden chains; a talisman, for it ensured the divine protection to the tribes whose names were thereon engraven.
    • 1921, Fielding H. Garrison, An Introduction to the History of Medicine, W.B. Saunders Co., page 41
      The passage in the Greek liturgy of St. Chrysostom...became a charm for intractable hemorrhage (written on the part affected or worn as a periapt)
    • 2003, Hannah Howell, His Immortal Embrace, Kensington Books, →ISBN, page 232
      That is the secret of this vault, Miss Thornberry. It is his living tomb, and the periapt you wear around your neck is his epitaph.