AskDefine | Define argent

Dictionary Definition

argent adj : lustrous gray; covered with or tinged with the color of silver; "silvery hair" [syn: silver, silvery, silverish] n : a metal tincture used in heraldry to give a silvery appearance

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative forms

arg. or a. in heraldic contexts.


From argentum "white money", "silver", via argent.


  • italbrac RP /ˈɑːdʒɛnt/
  • italbrac US /ˈɑɹdʒɛnt/


  1. the metal silver.
  2. : the white or silver tincture on a coat of arms.
    argent colour:   
    • 1909: The metals are gold and silver, these being termed "or" and "argent". — Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, A Complete Guide to Heraldry


silver or metal tincture


  1. of silver or silver-coloured.
  2. : of white or silver tincture on a coat of arms.
    • 1889: ...when the shield is argent, it is shown in an engraving by being left plain. — Charles Norton Elvin, A Dictionary of Heraldry



of silver or silver coloured
of white or silver tincture on a coat of arms

Related terms

  • Ag (chemical symbol for silver)

See also


  • 1667: Those argent Fields more likely habitants, / Translated Saints, or middle Spirits hold / Betwixt th' Angelical and Human kinde — John Milton, Paradise Lost
  • 1733: Or ask of yonder argent fields above, / Why Jove's Satellites are less than Jove? — Alexander Pope, Essay on Man
  • 1817: she did soar / So passionately bright, my dazzled soul / Commingling with her argent spheres did roll / Through clear and cloudy — John Keats, Endymion
  • 1817: Pardon me, airy planet, that I prize / One thought beyond thine argent luxuries! — John Keats, Endymion
  • 1818: Two wings this orb / Possess'd for glory, two fair argent wings — John Keats, Hyperion
  • 1819: At length burst in the argent revelry, / With plume, tiara, and all rich array, / Numerous as shadows haunting fairily / The brain — John Keats, The Eve of St Agnes
  • 1891:"A castle argent is certainly my crest," said he blandly. — Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles
  • 1922: Like John o'Gaunt his name is dear to him, as dear as the coat and crest he toadied for, on a bend sable a spear or steeled argent, honorificabilitudinitatibus, dearer than his glory of greatest shakescene in the country. — James Joyce, Ulysses
  • 1922: Keep our flag flying! An eagle gules volant in a field argent displayed. — James Joyce, Ulysses
  • 1967: Argent I craft you as the star / Of flower-shut evening — John Berryman, Berryman's Sonnets




  • IPA:


argent m (plural: argents)
  1. money
  2. silver
  3. argent (white in heraldry)

Extensive Definition

In heraldry, argent is the tincture of silver, and belongs to the class of light tinctures, called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeable with it. In engravings and line drawings, regions to be tinctured argent are either left blank, or may be indicated with the abbreviation ar. in them.
The name derives from Latin argentum, which derives from the Greek Αργυρος, translated as silver or white metal. The word argent had the same meaning in Old French blazon, from which it passed into the English language.
In some historical depictions of coats of arms, a kind of silver leaf was applied to those parts of the device that were argent. Over time, the silver content of these depictions has tarnished and darkened. As a result, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish regions that were intended as argent from those that were sable. The result is a false impression that the rule of tincture has been violated in cases where the argent was applied next to a dark colour, and where it now appears to be sable next to a dark colour from tarnishing.

Argent and white

Arthur Charles Fox-Davies argued extensively in his book The Art of Heraldry: An Encyclopaedia of Armory that, though extremely rare, the colour white existed as an independent tincture in heraldry separate from argent. He bases this in part on the "white labels" used to difference the arms of members of the British Royal Family. However, it has been argued that these could be regarded as "white labels proper", thus rendering white not a heraldic tincture.
White does seem to be regarded as a different tincture from argent in Portuguese heraldry, as evidenced by the arms of municipal de Santiago do Cacém in Portugal, in which the white of the fallen Moor's clothing and the knight's horse is distinguished from the argent of the distant castle, and in the arms of the Logistical and Administrative Command of the Portuguese Air Force.
Argent is said to represent the following:

See also

argent in Catalan: Argent (heràldica)
argent in Spanish: Argén
argent in Italian: Argento (araldico)
argent in Hungarian: Ezüst (heraldika)
argent in Japanese: アージェント (紋章学)
argent in Occitan (post 1500): Argent (heraudica)
argent in Portuguese: Argent (heráldica)
argent in Russian: Argent
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1