Rebus meaning

rē'bəs
A representation of words in the form of pictures or symbols, often presented as a puzzle.
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A kind of puzzle consisting of pictures of objects, signs, letters, etc., the combination of whose names suggests words or phrases.

A picture of an eye followed by an L followed by an ampersand is a rebus for “island”

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The definition of a rebus is a puzzle where you have to guess a phrase that you derive or determine using a combination of pictures and words.

An example of a rebus is when you are given the word: "T_RN" and need to guess a phrase from this (the phrase to guess is "No U Turn.").

noun
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A kind of word puzzle which uses pictures to represent words or parts of words.
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(heraldry) A pictorial suggestion on a coat of arms of the name of the person to whom it belongs.
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To mark or indicate by a rebus.
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Origin of rebus

  • From Latin rēbus ablative pl. of rēs thing rē- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From French rébus, from Latin rebus (ablative plural of res "˜thing'), as taken from the phrase de rebus quae geruntur "˜concerning the things that are taking place', used in sixteenth-century Picardie as the name for satirical pieces containing picture-riddles.
    From Wiktionary
  • From the Latin ablative plural form of res "thing" (=rebus (“of or by things")), taken from the phrase "nōn verbÄ«s sed rébus" meaning "not by words but by things".
    From Wiktionary