scarab definition by Webster's New World
- any of a large family (Scarabaeidae) of mostly stout-bodied, often brilliantly colored beetles with lamellicorn antennae, including the June bugs, cockchafers, and dung beetles
- the black, winged dung beetle (Scarabaeus sacer) held sacred by the ancient Egyptians
- an image of this beetle, cut from a stone or gem, often engraved with religious or historical inscriptions on the flat underside and, formerly, esp. in ancient Egypt, worn as a charm or used as a seal
Origin: French scarabée ; from Classical Latin scarabaeus, altered ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Classical Greek karabos, a horned beetle, crayfish
scarab definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A scarabaeid beetle, especially Scarabaeus sacer, regarded as sacred by the ancient Egyptians.
- A representation of this beetle, such as a ceramic or stone sculpture or a cut gem, used in ancient Egypt as a talisman and a symbol of the soul. Also called scarabaeus.
Origin: French scarabée, from Latin scarabaeus, from Greek karabos, crab, beetle.