/angk/, n. Egyptian Art.
a tau cross with a loop at the top, used as a symbol of generation or enduring life.
[1885-90; < Egyptian 'nh live; appar. at least partially homophonous with word for "sandal strap," hence stylized picture of sandal strap became symbol for life]

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Ancient Egyptian hieroglyph signifying life, consisting of a cross surmounted by a loop.

In tomb inscriptions, gods and pharaohs are often pictured holding the ankh, which forms part of the hieroglyph for concepts such as health and happiness. It is used as a cross in the Coptic Orthodox Church.

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 ancient Egyptian hieroglyph signifying “life,” a cross surmounted by a loop and known in Latin as a crux ansata (ansate, or handle-shaped, cross). As a vivifying talisman, the ankh is often held or offered by gods and pharaohs. The form of the symbol derives from a sandal strap. As a cross, it has been extensively used in the symbolism of the Coptic Orthodox Church (Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria).

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Universalium. 2010.

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