1. An upright, four-sided pillar, gradually tapering as it rises, and terminating in a pyramid called pyramidion. It is ordinarily monolithic. Egyptian obelisks are commonly covered with hieroglyphic writing from top to bottom.

2. A mark of reference; called also dagger [<su:dag/] See Dagger.

Origin: L. Obeliscus, Gr, dim. Of a spit, a pointed pillar: cf. F. Obelisque.

(01 Mar 1998)

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