Definition of obelus in English:


nounplural noun obeli/ˈäbəˌlī/ /ˈɑbəˌlaɪ/

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

    Also called dagger

    • ‘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 texts to mark a word or passage as spurious, corrupt, or doubtful.



/ˈäbələs/ /ˈɑbələs/


Late Middle English via Latin from Greek obelos ‘pointed pillar’, also ‘critical mark’.