Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)

Displaying 1 result(s) from the 1913 edition:
Motto (Page: 948)

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.

Displaying 1 result(s) from the 1828 edition:

MOT''TO, n. Primarily, a word; but more commonly, a sentence or phrase prefixed to an essay or discourse, containing the subject of it, or added to a device.

In heraldry, the motto is carried in a scroll, alluding to the bearing or to the name of the bearer, or expressing some important idea.