From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Emblem \Em"blem\, n. [F. embl[`e]me, L. emblema, -atis, that
   which is put in or on, inlaid work, fr. Gr. ? a thing put in
   or on, fr. ? to throw, lay, put in; ? in + ? to throw. See
   In, and Parable.]
   1. Inlay; inlaid or mosaic work; something ornamental
      inserted in a surface. [Obs.] --Milton.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. A visible sign of an idea; an object, or the figure of an
      object, symbolizing and suggesting another object, or an
      idea, by natural aptness or by association; a figurative
      representation; a typical designation; a symbol; as, a
      balance is an emblem of justice; a scepter, the emblem of
      sovereignty or power; a circle, the emblem of eternity.
      "His cicatrice, an emblem of war, here on his sinister
      cheek." --Shak.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. A picture accompanied with a motto, a set of verse, or the
      like, intended as a moral lesson or meditation.
      [1913 Webster]

   Note: Writers and artists of the 17th century gave much
         attention and study to the composition of such emblems,
         and many collections of them were published.

   Syn: Sign; symbol; type; device; signal; token.

   Usage: Sign, Emblem, Symbol, Type. Sign is the
          generic word comprehending all significant
          representations. An emblem is a visible object
          representing another by a natural suggestion of
          characteristic qualities, or an habitual and
          recognized association; as, a circle, having no
          apparent beginning or end, is an emblem of eternity; a
          particular flag is the emblem of the country or ship
          which has adopted it for a sign and with which it is
          habitually associated. Between emblem and symbol the
          distinction is slight, and often one may be
          substituted for the other without impropriety. See
          Symbol. Thus, a circle is either an emblem or a
          symbol of eternity; a scepter, either an emblem or a
          symbol of authority; a lamb, either an emblem or a
          symbol of meekness. "An emblem is always of something
          simple; a symbol may be of something complex, as of a
          transaction . . . In consequence we do not speak of
          actions emblematic." --C. J. Smith. A type is a
          representative example, or model, exhibiting the
          qualities common to all individuals of the class to
          which it belongs; as, the Monitor is a type of a class
          of war vessels.
          [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Emblem \Em"blem\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Emblemed; p. pr. & vb.
   n. Embleming.]
   To represent by an emblem; to symbolize. [R.]
   [1913 Webster]

         Emblemed by the cozening fig tree.       --Feltham.
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