Part of speech: noun
Origin: Greek, early 17th century
The protection, backing, or support of a particular person or organization.
(in classical art and mythology) an attribute of Zeus and Athena (or their Roman counterparts Jupiter and Minerva) usually represented as a goatskin shield.
Examples of Aegis in a sentence
"The humanitarian efforts were done under the aegis of the United Nations."
"Athena carried her aegis for protection."
Popularity Over Time
You're likely to hear "aegis" used on the news today to talk about an organization or a country giving its support and protection. But the history of the word is as of a literal shield. In Greek, "aigis" means "shield of Zeus," and in classical art and mythology the word "aegis" was always related to the shields of Zeus and Athena.
Did you Know?
In Greek mythology and art the aegis is represented in many forms, but in Homer's "Iliad," it's attributed to Athena. "And among them went bright-eyed Athene, holding the precious aegis which is ageless and immortal: a hundred tassels of pure gold hang fluttering from it, tight-woven each of them, and each the worth of a hundred oxen."