1. A square that contains numbers arranged in equal rows and columns such that the sum of each row, column, and sometimes diagonal is the same.
2. A similar square containing letters in particular arrangements that spell out the same word or words.
(click for a larger image)magic square
top: the SATOR letter square
bottom: the number square from Albrecht Dürer's engraving Melencolia I
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.