Poem typeset with generous use of decorative dingbats around the edges 1880s. Dingbats are not part of the text.

A dingbat is an ornament, character or spacer used in typesetting, sometimes more formally known as a "printer's ornament" or "printer's character".

The term continues to be used in the computer industry to describe fonts that have symbols and shapes in the positions designated for alphabetical or numeric characters.

Examples of characters included in Unicode (ITC Zapf dingbats series 100 and others):


The advent of Unicode and the universal character set it provides allowed commonly-used dingbats to be given their own character codes, from 2700 to 27BF. Although fonts claiming Unicode coverage will contain glyphs for dingbats in addition to alphabetic characters, fonts that have dingbats in place of alphabetic characters continue to be popular, primarily for ease of input. Such fonts are also sometimes known as pi fonts.


Unicode Dingbats

Dingbats were added to the Unicode Standard in June, 1993 with the release of version 1.1.

The Unicode block for Dingbats is U+2700–U+27BF:

Unicode.org chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
1.^ As of Unicode version 6.0


For more examples of dingbat typefaces, see Wingdings and Webdings. Another famous dingbat typeface, Zapf Dingbats, was designed by the typographer Hermann Zapf.

See also

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dingbat — (n.) 1838, American English, some kind of alcoholic drink, of unknown origin. One of that class of words (e.g. dingus, doohickey, gadget, gizmo, thingumabob) which are conjured up to supply names for items whose proper names are unknown or not… …   Etymology dictionary

  • dingbat — ☆ dingbat [diŋ′bat΄ ] n. [< DING, in obs. sense “to fling” + BAT1] 1. [Old Informal] a stone, stick, or other object suitable for throwing 2. Printing Informal any of various decorative marks, as at the beginning of a paragraph 3. Slang a… …   English World dictionary

  • dingbat — 1. n. <a name for a gadget.> □ Isn’t there supposed to be a little red dingbat that goes in this hole? □ Is this the dingbat you mean? 2. n. a stupid person. □ Who is the dingbat with Bob? □ …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • Dingbat — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Un dingbat est un caractère typographique représentant un dessin. Un dingbat est un type de devinettes qui consiste à deviner un mot ou une expression… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • dingbat — noun /ˈdɪŋˌbæt/ a) A silly or stupid person. The fire department is out here because some dingbat parked in the red zone. b) A special ornamental typographical symbol, such as a bullet, an …   Wiktionary

  • dingbat — UK [ˈdɪŋˌbæt] / US noun [countable] Word forms dingbat : singular dingbat plural dingbats American offensive a stupid person …   English dictionary

  • dingbat — /ˈdɪŋbæt / (say dingbat) noun 1. Colloquial an eccentric or peculiar person. 2. Printing any ornamental typographical symbol used for decoration, text division, etc. {originally US slang, of uncertain origin; the sense in def. 1 was popularised… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Dingbat — fool; eccentric, peculiar person (from US slang; popularised in this sense by a cartoon strip The Dingbat Family begun by George Herriman in 1909; earlier meaning a stiff drink or a projectile for throwing ) …   Dictionary of Australian slang

  • dingbat — Australian Slang fool; eccentric, peculiar person (from US slang; popularised in this sense by a cartoon strip The Dingbat Family begun by George Herriman in 1909; earlier meaning a stiff drink or a projectile for throwing ) …   English dialects glossary

  • dingbat — n 1. an eccentric, crazy or foolish person. Originally this was an Australian word, probably derived from dingbats as an adjective (an embellishment of the collo quial bats ). The word is now popular in Britain and the USA. ► In fact, editing and …   Contemporary slang

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.