Meaning of obelus in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɒb(ə)ləs/

nounplural noun obeli/ˈɒb(ə)lʌɪ/

  • 1A symbol (†) used as a reference mark in printed matter, or to indicate that a person is deceased.

    • ‘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’.