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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
motto
noun
EXAMPLES FROM OTHER ENTRIES
▪ "All my life," said Sir Humphrey, "my motto has been 'aim high'."
▪ "Be prepared" is the motto of the Boy Scouts.
▪ The Mortimer family motto is inscribed above the door -- 'Humilitas'.
▪ The school's motto was 'Work hard and play hard'.
▪ Try before you buy is a good motto.
EXAMPLES FROM CORPUS
▪ Brevity was always Britten's motto, as well as Verdi's.
▪ But our motto is win with class, lose with class.
▪ In a rare public statement, the tough undercover soldiers - whose motto is Who Dares Wins - have apologised.
▪ Mind my own business, that's my motto.
▪ Peter remembered the motto he had chosen for the Emperor's Luck Casino in Emor.
▪ That's the motto of car salesmen who have put up a gag board to amuse motorists.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Motto

Motto \Mot"to\, n.; pl. Mottoes. [It. motto a word, a saying, L. muttum a mutter, a grunt, cf. muttire, mutire, to mutter, mumble; prob. of imitative origin. Cf. Mot a word.]

  1. (Her.) A sentence, phrase, or word, forming part of an heraldic achievment.

  2. A sentence, phrase, or word, prefixed to an essay, discourse, chapter, canto, or the like, suggestive of its subject matter; a short, suggestive expression of a guiding principle; a maxim.

    It was the motto of a bishop eminent for his piety and good works, . . . ``Serve God, and be cheerful.''
    --Addison.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
motto

1580s, from Italian motto "a saying, legend attached to a heraldic design," from Late Latin muttum "grunt, word," from Latin muttire "to mutter, mumble, murmur" (see mutter).

Wiktionary
motto

n. 1 (context heraldry English) A sentence, phrase, or word, forming part of an heraldic achievement. 2 A sentence, phrase, or word, prefixed to an essay, discourse, chapter, canto, or the like, suggestive of its subject matter; a short, suggestive expression of a guide principle; a maxim.

WordNet
motto
  1. n. a favorite saying of a sect or political group [syn: slogan, catchword, shibboleth]

  2. [also: mottoes (pl)]

Wikipedia
Motto

A motto (derived from the Latinmuttum, 'mutter', by way of Italianmotto, 'word', 'sentence') is a maxim, a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of an individual, family, social group or organization. Mottos are usually not expressed verbally, unlike slogans, but are expressed in writing and usually stem from long traditions of social foundations, or also from significant events, such as a civil war or a revolution. A motto may be in any language, but Latin has been widely used, especially in the Western world.

Motto (disambiguation)

A motto is a phrase meant to formally describe the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization.

It can also refer to:

  • Epigraph (literature), a sentence, phrase, or word, prefixed to an essay, chapter, or the like, suggestive of its subject matter
  • Aphorism, a short, suggestive expression of a guiding principle
  • In music, a head-motif
  • A short quotation, joke, or an anecdotal message printed on a piece of paper inside a Christmas cracker
Motto (Tanpopo song)

is the second single of the subgroup Tanpopo. It was released on March 10, 1999, as a 8 cm CD and reached number seven on the Japan Oricon charts. A remix version of this song was made and was featured on the group's first album, Tanpopo 1.

Usage examples of "motto".

He had a miserly look, old Marle, and if economy was his motto, his hair suited it.

The hint another gives us finds whole trains of thought which have been getting themselves ready to be shaped in inwardly articulated words, and only awaited the touch of a burning syllable, as the mottoes of a pyrotechnist only wait for a spark to become letters of fire.

The others were chiming their agreement to this formula when Sargon, recognizing the motto of the Three Musketeers, began to chuckle.

He believed that only stupid people could define the failings and opportunities of this complex world by means of trite catchall mottos.

The mottoes of the various Crests were carved in elegant gilded Icarii script into the walls above pennants and standards.

Not the most uplifting sentiment on record, but an improvement over the Garvey family motto: Life sucks then you die.

We Are What We Revile or We Are What We Scurry Around As Fast As Possible With Our Eyes Averted, though when Schtitt mentions the motto he never attaches any moral connotation to it, or for that matter ever translates it, allowing prorectors and Big Buddies to adjust their translations to suit the needs of the pedagogical moment.

And always we will bear courageous witness to The Widows Club motto: Mors Magis Amicior Quam Inimicior.

The motto of the Truthsayers Guild burned through her mind like a brushfire, and she shuddered again.

I saw again the mirror-lined walls, the evergreen decked ceilings, the festoons and mottos, the tables gleaming with cutglass and silver, the buffets with wines and fruits, the brigade of sleek, black, white-aproned waiters, headed by one who had presence enough for a major General.

Then he remembered Motti and wondered how one of them could have been reading a Hebrew newspaper in the Jewish Community Center.

That was why, when Motti reported to me on a genuine Aryan German with a grudge against the SS, I was interested.

PIETER MILLER wrote his letters to his mother and Sigi under the watchful eye of Motti, and finished by midmorning.

He called Motti, who was on duty at the telephone exchange where he worked, and the assistant reported to Leon when he had finished his shift.

When Motti had gone, Leon dialed a number in Bremen and gave further orders.