rebus

/ree"beuhs/, n., pl. rebuses.
1. a representation of a word or phrase by pictures, symbols, etc., that suggest that word or phrase or its syllables: Two gates and a head is a rebus for Gateshead.
2. a piece of writing containing many such representations.
[1595-1605; < L rebus by things (abl. pl. of res), in phrase non verbis sed rebus not by words but by things]

* * *

▪ writing principle
      representation of a word or syllable by a picture of an object the name of which resembles in sound the represented word or syllable. Several rebuses may be combined—in a single device or successively—to make a phrase or sentence. Literary rebuses use letters, numbers, musical notes, or specially placed words to make sentences. Complex rebuses combine pictures and letters. Rebuses may convey direct meanings, especially to inform or instruct illiterate people; or they may deliberately conceal meanings, to inform only the initiated or to puzzle and amuse.

      An early form of rebus occurs in picture writings, where abstract words, difficult to portray, were represented by pictures of objects pronounced the same way. These are common in Egyptian hieroglyphs and early Chinese pictographs. Rebus pictures were used to convey names of towns on Greek and Roman coins or names of families in medieval heraldry and for instructional symbols in religious art and architecture. In the Far East, especially in China and Korea, rebus symbols were commonly employed to carry auspicious wishes.

      In Europe, literary rebuses often appeared on family mottoes, personal seals, ciphers, bookplates, and ultimately in games or riddles. A familiar English rebus is the debtor's “IOU,” for “I owe you.”

      Popular in the United States after the mid-19th century were rebus picture puzzles in which the indicated addition or subtraction of letters in illustrated words produced another word or name. Such picture riddles have been widely used in advertising promotional contests.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • rébus — rébus …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • rébus — [ rebys ] n. m. • 1512; « mauvais jeu de mots » v. 1480; de la formule lat. de rebus quæ geruntur « au sujet des choses qui se passent », libelle qui comportait des dessins énigmatiques 1 ♦ Devinette graphique, Suite de dessins, de mots, de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Rebus — Rébus Le rébus est un jeu qui consiste à créer une suite de plusieurs dessins qui, une fois interprétés, donnent les syllabes devant permettre de découvrir une phrase ou un mot. Un rébus peut parfois aussi être attribué aux jeux de mots basés sur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • rebus — RÉBUS, rebusuri, s.n. Joc în care un cuvânt sau o frază sunt reprezentate printr o combinaţie de figuri, litere sau semne pe baza cărora urmează să găseşti cuvântul sau fraza dată. ♦ fig. Enigmă, şaradă. – Din fr. rébus, germ. Rebus. Trimis de… …   Dicționar Român

  • Rebus — Smn Bilderrätsel erw. obs. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus frz. rébus (de Picarde) m., dieses aus l. (de) rēbus (quae geruntur) von Sachen, die sich ereignen , zu l. rēs f. Sache, Ding . So benannt nach scherzhaften Bilderrätseln von Studenten …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • REBUS — (от Radix tools Electronic Book Ubiquitous Solutions)  семейство программ для работы с электронными источниками информации в новом формате RBS. Разработчик  компания Radix Tools. Основой пакета является многоцелевая программа оболочка,… …   Википедия

  • rebus — REBUS. s. m. Jeu d esprit qui consiste en allusions. en équivoques, & qui exprime quelque chose par des mots & par des figures prises en un autre sens que celuy qui leur est naturel. Un rébus de Picardie. un vieux rébus. faire des rébus. Il se… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Rebus — (Bilderrätsel), besondere Art von Rätseln, bestehend aus Bildern von Gegenständen, deren Namen gleich oder ähnlich klingende Wörter oder Teile von solchen vertreten, so daß aus den Bildern und ihrer Zusammenstellung Begriffe und Sätze von völlig… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • rebus — (n.) c.1600, from L. rebus by means of objects, ablative plural of res thing, object. Perhaps principally from the phrase de rebus quæ geruntur of things which are going on, in reference to the satirical pieces composed by Picardy clerks at… …   Etymology dictionary

  • rebus — rébus m DEFINICIJA 1. zagonetka u kojoj se tekst (riječ, rečenica) koji treba odgonetati krije u kombinacijama slika, slova, brojeva i drugih znakova i simbola 2. pren. pojava koju je teško objasniti, ono što nije unaprijed jasno, ono što se mora …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • rebus — [rē′bəs] n. [Fr rébus < L, abl. pl. of res, thing (see REAL1), lit., (meaning indicated) by things] a kind of puzzle consisting of pictures of objects, signs, letters, etc., the combination of whose names suggests words or phrases [a picture… …   English World dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.