In heraldry, azure (/ˈæʒər, ˈeɪʒər/ AZH-ər, AY-zhər, UK also /ˈæzjʊər, ˈeɪzjʊər/ AZ-ure, AY-zure) is the tincture with the colour blue, and belongs to the class of tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of horizontal lines or else is marked with either az. or b. as an abbreviation.
The term azure shares origin with the Spanish word "azul", which refers to the same color, deriving from Hispanic Arabic lazawárd the name of the deep blue stone now called lapis lazuli. The word was adopted into Old French by the 12th century, after which the word passed into use in the blazon of coats of arms.
|Tricking abbr.||b., bl., az.|
As an heraldic colour, the word azure means "blue", and reflects the name for the colour in the language of the French-speaking Anglo-Norman nobles following the Norman Conquest of England. A wide range of colour values is used in the depiction of azure in armory and flags, and in common usage it is often referred to simply as 'blue'.
In addition to the standard blue tincture called azure, there is a lighter blue that is called bleu celeste or "sky blue". Neither azure nor bleu celeste is precisely defined as a particular shade of blue, but azure is consistently depicted in a much darker shade.
The different tinctures are traditionally associated with particular heavenly bodies, precious stones, virtues, and flowers, although these associations have been mostly disregarded by serious heraldists. Azure is associated with:
Arms of Dolní Přím municipality, Hradec Králové District, the Czech Republic.
Arms of the Dollern municipality
Arms of the municipality of Holtorfsloh, Seevetal, Lower Saxony.
Arms of Guy Harpigny
Arms of the Republic of Ireland
- The dictionary definition of azure at Wiktionary
- ^ Wells, John C. (2008). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.). Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
- ^ Jones, Daniel (2011). Roach, Peter; Setter, Jane; Esling, John (eds.). Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (18th ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-15255-6.
- ^ "azure". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020.
- ^ a b Woodcock, Thomas; Robinson, John Martin (1988). The Oxford Guide to Heraldry. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 53–54. ISBN 0-19-211658-4.
- ^ a b Elvin, Charles Norton (1889). A Dictionary of Heraldry. London: Kent.