Definition of obelus in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɒb(ə)ləs/

noun (plural obeli /ˈɒb(ə)lʌɪ/ /ˈɒb(ə)liː/)

1A symbol (†) used as a reference mark in printed matter, or to indicate that a person is deceased.
Example sentences
  • This obelus (little dagger sign) directs readers to a four-line footnote that explains the terms and conditions attached to this freebie.
2A mark (- or ÷) used in ancient manuscripts to mark a word or passage as spurious, corrupt or doubtful.


Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek obelos 'pointed pillar', also 'critical mark'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ob¦elus

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