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See also: Swastika, , and


Hindu swastika.
National Socialist swastika


From Sanskrit स्वस्तिक (svastika), from सु (su, good, well) + अस्ति (asti), a verbal abstract of the root of the verb "to be", स्वस्ति (svasti) thus meaning "well-being" — and the diminutive suffix (ka); hence "little thing associated with well-being", corresponding roughly to "lucky charm". First attestation in English in 1871, a Sanskritism that replaced the Grecian term gammadion. From 1932 onwards it often referred specifically to the visually similar hooked cross (German Hakenkreuz) emblem popularized by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.



swastika (countable and uncountable, plural swastikas)

  1. (countable) A cross with arms of equal length all bent halfway along at a 90° angle to the right or to the left, used as a religious symbol by various ancient and modern civilizations, and adopted more recently (with arms angled to the right) as a symbol of National Socialism and fascism.
    • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, “The Sending of Dana Da”, in In Black and White, Folio Society, published 2005, pages 423–4:
      This was signed by Dana Da, who added pentacles and pentagrams, and a crux ansata, and half-a-dozen swastikas, and a Triple Tau to his name, just to show that he was all he laid claim to be.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin, published 2010, page 270:
      It is clear from archaeological finds that they enjoyed wearing Christian crosses, though they might enliven these with such symbols as the Indian swastika which Buddhists had brought them.
  2. (fascism, historical, metonymically, uncountable) Nazi rule.
    • 2011, Herzog, Rudolph, Jefferson Chase, transl., Dead Funny: Humor in Hitler's Germany[1], Brooklyn: Melville House, →ISBN, page 36:
      “I can’t imagine anyone believes in Communist culprits instead of a contract job commissioned on behalf of the swastika.”



Further reading[edit]




swastika f or m (plural swastika's)

  1. swastika