A cross with arms of equal length all bent halfway along at a 90° angle to the right or to the left, used as a religious symbol by various ancient and modern civilizations, and adopted more recently (with arms angled to the right) as a symbol of National Socialism and fascism.
From Sanskrit स्वस्तिक, from सु- + अस्ति, a verbal abstract of the root of the verb "to be", स्वस्ति thus meaning "well-being" — and the diminutive suffix क; hence "little thing associated with well-being", corresponding roughly to "lucky charm". First attestation in English in 1871, a Sanskritism that replaced the Grecian term gammadion. From 1932 onwards it often referred specifically to the visually similar hooked cross () emblem popularized by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
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