AskDefine | Define badge

Dictionary Definition



1 an emblem (a small piece of plastic or cloth or metal) that signifies your status (rank or membership or affiliation etc.); "they checked everyone's badge before letting them in"
2 any feature that is regarded as a sign of status (a particular power or quality or rank); "wearing a tie was regarded as a badge of respectability" v : put a badge on; "The workers here must be badged"

User Contributed Dictionary



From bagea, bagia "sign", probably of origin; compare with Old English beág, beáh "bracelet", "collar", "crown". bg- in comparison to Old English bgan "to bow", "bend", biegen.



  1. A distinctive mark, token, sign, emblem or cognizance, worn on one's clothing, as an insignia of some rank, or of the membership of an organization.
  2. A small nameplate, identifying the wearer, and often giving additional information.
  3. A card, sometimes with a barcode or magnetic strip, granting access to a certain area.
  4. Something characteristic; a mark; a token.
  5. A term used for one burned in the hand.
    He has got his badge, and piked: He was burned in the hand, and is at liberty.
  6. A carved ornament on the stern of a vessel, containing a window or the representation of one.
  7. A distinctive mark worn by servants, retainers, and followers of royalty or nobility, who, being beneath the rank of gentlemen, have no right to armorial bearings.


a distinctive mark
a nameplate
a card to grant access
something characteristic
carved ornament on the stern of a vessel
Translations to be checked
Translations to categorize


  1. To mark or distinguish with a badge.
  2. To enter a restricted area by showing one's badge.
    • David Simon, Homicide ISBN 0-8050-8075-9, p. 118 - Worden and James walk [...] to the [...] Courthouse [...], where they badge their way past sheriff's deputies and take the elevator to the third floor.


to mark or distinguish with a badge

Related terms


Extensive Definition

For other uses, see Badge (disambiguation)
A badge is a device, patch, or accoutrement which is presented or displayed to indicate some feat of service, a special accomplishment, a symbol of authority granted by taking an oath (e.g., police and fire), a sign of legitimate employment or student status, or as a simple means of identification. They are also used in advertising and publicity.
Badges have become highly collectible: in the UK, for example, the Badge Collectors' Circle has been in existence since 1980.
In the military, badges are often used to denote qualifications received through military training. Similarly, scouting organizations use them to show group membership and rank.
Members of fraternities and sororities often refer to the pins that signify their membership as badges.
One of the best-known badges is the typically star-shaped U.S. sheriff's badge, made famous in Westerns.
The BBC children's programme Blue Peter also awards its own "Blue Peter badge" to members of the public who appear on the show. These are highly collectible as they cannot be bought - except from people who have been awarded one and wish to sell it.
Case badges are also thick (about 3 mm deep), 3 cm x 3 cm lucite stickers that are often packaged with various computer parts, such as processors and video cards. Modern computer cases are frequently embellished with an indentation on the case's front panel to facilitate the affixing of a case badge.
In work places employees are often issued name badges which identify them. Name badges are also commonly issued in high schools and hospitals. They are often used to tell legitimate workers from impersonators.
Badges can be made from a wide range of materials such as metal, plastic, rubber, leather and textiles. Textile badges, for example, can be either woven or embroidered.


  • Setchfield, Frank (1986). Official Badge Collector's Guide: From the 1890s to the 1980s. London: Longman. ISBN 0-582-89306-2
badge in German: Plakette
badge in French: Badge
badge in Italian: Badge
badge in Japanese: バッジ
badge in Norwegian: Merke (utmerkelse)
badge in Polish: Odznaka i oznaka
badge in Portuguese: Distintivo
badge in Russian: Нагрудный знак
badge in Finnish: Rintamerkki

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Hershey bar, ID card, accolade, armory, aroma, attribute, aviation badge, award, badge of office, badges, banner, bar, baton, bays, blazonry, brand, brassard, button, cachet, calligram, calling card, cap and gown, card, cast, chain, chain of office, character, characteristic, chevron, chicken, class ring, cockade, collar, configuration, countermark, countersign, credentials, cross, cut, decoration, device, differentia, differential, distinction, distinctive feature, dog tag, dress, eagle, earmark, emblem, emblems, ensigns, epaulet, fasces, feature, figure, figurehead, flavor, fleur-de-lis, gust, hallmark, hammer and sickle, hash mark, heraldry, identification, identification badge, identification tag, idiocrasy, idiosyncrasy, image, impress, impression, index, indicant, indicator, individualism, initials, insignia, insignia of branch, keynote, kudos, lapel pin, laurels, letter of introduction, lineaments, livery, mace, mannerism, mantle, mark, marking, markings, measure, medal, mold, monogram, mortarboard, nature, note, oak leaf, odor, old school tie, organization insignia, overseas bar, parachute badge, particularity, patch, peculiarity, picture, pin, pip, press card, property, quality, quirk, regalia, representation, representative, ring, rose, savor, school ring, seal, serial number, service stripe, shamrock, shape, shoulder patch, shoulder sleeve insignia, sigil, sigillography, sign, signal, signature, singularity, skull and crossbones, smack, specialty, sphragistics, spread eagle, staff, stamp, star, stripe, submarine badge, sure sign, swastika, symptom, taint, tang, tartan, taste, telltale sign, tessera, thistle, tie, token, trait, trick, uniform, verge, visiting card, wand
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