Definition of insignia in US English:


nounPlural insignias

  • 1A badge or distinguishing mark of military rank, office, or membership of an organization; an official emblem.

    ‘a khaki uniform with colonel's insignia on the collar’
    • ‘Henry VIII dropped the wolfhound and replaced it with a lion, thus making the royal insignia less Welsh.’
    • ‘Human Rights Watch found that the militias use Sudanese military weapons, insignia and chain of command.’
    • ‘There are other Scouters whom have provided me with scans of square knot insignia as well as other items.’
    • ‘What is the significance of the ribbons, insignia and medals?’
    • ‘It is enough that he is clothed with the insignia of the office, and exercises its powers and functions…’
    • ‘A large number centered on war themes, such as army-cap badges, national flags, and military insignia.’
    • ‘I'm less clear about the distinctions of rank and insignia on the other side of the great divide between officers and enlisted men.’
    • ‘Regimental top brass are insisting that if it happens, the Duke's must retain the insignia and badges as well as their name.’
    • ‘She adjusted the insignia that marked her rank before leaving the mirror.’
    • ‘These liveries came to be distinguished by heraldic insignia and emblems.’
    • ‘The following links provide images of the rank insignias as they were worn by both the Union and Confederate armies.’
    • ‘His was the largest retinue in England and he promoted the use of badges and insignia, the most familiar being the Lancastrian collar of esses.’
    • ‘In a combat uniform the Navy rank insignia would not be noticeable except at extremely close range.’
    • ‘Masonic symbolism features prominently in many governments and military insignias.’
    • ‘Ramirez stood up easily in his military uniform, no insignia giving his rank.’
    • ‘She motioned them to come inside, noting the rank insignia on their collars.’
    • ‘The US system of rank badges and insignia, introduced in the early 19th century, is highly distinctive, and instructive.’
    • ‘He noticed my military insignia and asked if I was going to Saudi Arabia for the Gulf War.’
    • ‘Sea Scouting insignia was initially developed by Kimo Wilder, Chief Seascout from 1916-23.’
    • ‘Appropriate use of the name and insignias can benefit all, while inappropriate use may reflect negatively on both the institution and its individual members.’
    badge, crest, emblem, symbol, sign, device, mark, seal, colours
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A distinguishing mark or token of something.
      ‘they left eternally inert blooms, the insignia of melancholy’
      • ‘We ourselves circulate as so many signs, carrying on our bodies innumerable minor signs and insignias.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin, plural of insigne ‘sign, badge of office’, neuter of insignis ‘distinguished (as if by a mark)’, from in- ‘towards’ + signum ‘sign’.