Definition of ankh in English:



  • An object or design resembling a cross but having a loop instead of the top arm, used in ancient Egypt as a symbol of life.

    • ‘It is concerned with the process of transmutation of matter from one form to another and the transmission of the universal life force, symbolized by the ankh, carried by Isis, bestower of the universal life force - the Goddess.’
    • ‘Hilary draws lotus flowers and the Egyptian ankh.’
    • ‘Crosses aren't exactly like ankhs but they're close enough that they work like ankhs.’
    • ‘Among them were symbols that I recognized, such as an Egyptian ankh and a Minoan labrys.’
    • ‘He placed a bracelet and closed her fist around it, ‘The ankh, a symbol of everlasting life.’’
    • ‘The majority recognizes the ankh as an Egyptian symbol of mythological power.’
    • ‘Under the left eye, there appeared to be a small ankh, Egyptian symbol for eternal life, which was also colored black.’
    • ‘The ankh is an ancient Egyptian symbol carried around by the Egyptian gods, normally signifying the ability to give or take life.’
    • ‘During temple rituals, participants may wear ordinary clothes, or a variety of Egyptian-style robes, headdresses, and jewelry such as ankh pendants or scarab rings.’
    • ‘The ankh, the Egyptian symbol for eternal life, is very similar to that of the cross revered by Christians (especially in the form of the Coptic cross), itself also a symbol for eternal life.’
    • ‘About my neck are several holy symbols representing the twinned religions of peace: Buddha, dragon, cross, ankh, and pentagram.’
    • ‘The 0 section of the ankh is actually a crescent moon, facing up, and the top is an open eye.’
    • ‘The end of the staff is an odd symbol, similar to the top of an ankh.’
    • ‘He used to wear an Egyptian ankh, a star of David and a crucifix around his neck.’
    • ‘The bat represented the night, whereas the ankh and butterfly symbolized immortal life and eternity.’


Late 19th century: from Egyptian, literally ‘life, soul’.