A lozenge often referred to as a diamond, is a form of rhombus
In Euclidean geometry, a rhombus or rhomb is a convex quadrilateral whose four sides all have the same length. The rhombus is often called a diamond, after the diamonds suit in playing cards, or a lozenge, though the latter sometimes refers specifically to a rhombus with a 45° angle.Every...

. The definition of lozenge is not strictly fixed, and it is sometimes used simply as a synonym (from the French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 losange) for rhombus. Most often, though, lozenge refers to a thin rhombus—a rhombus with acute angles of 45°. The lozenge shape is often used in parquetry
Parquetry is a geometric mosaic of wood pieces used for decorative effect. The two main uses of parquetry are as veneer patterns on furniture and block patterns for flooring. Parquet patterns are entirely geometrical and angular—squares, triangles, lozenges. The most popular parquet flooring...

 and as decoration
Decorative art
The decorative arts is traditionally a term for the design and manufacture of functional objects. It includes interior design, but not usually architecture. The decorative arts are often categorized in opposition to the "fine arts", namely, painting, drawing, photography, and large-scale...

 on ceramics
Ceramics (art)
In art history, ceramics and ceramic art mean art objects such as figures, tiles, and tableware made from clay and other raw materials by the process of pottery. Some ceramic products are regarded as fine art, while others are regarded as decorative, industrial or applied art objects, or as...

, silverware
Silver (household)
Household silver or silverware includes dishware, cutlery and other household items made of sterling, Britannia or Sheffield plate silver. The term is often extended to items made of stainless steel...

 and textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

s. It also features in heraldry
Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound harja-waldaz, "army commander"...

 and playing cards
Suit (cards)
In playing cards, a suit is one of several categories into which the cards of a deck are divided. Most often, each card bears one of several symbols showing to which suit it belongs; the suit may alternatively or in addition be indicated by the color printed on the card...



The lozenge motif dates as far back as the Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 and Paleolithic period in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 and represents a sown field
Field (agriculture)
In agriculture, the word field refers generally to an area of land enclosed or otherwise and used for agricultural purposes such as:* Cultivating crops* Usage as a paddock or, generally, an enclosure of livestock...

 and female fertility
Fertility is the natural capability of producing offsprings. As a measure, "fertility rate" is the number of children born per couple, person or population. Fertility differs from fecundity, which is defined as the potential for reproduction...

. The ancient lozenge pattern often shows up in Diamond vault
Diamond vault
A diamond vault is a form of vault used in the Late Gothic and Renaissance style, which is based on an elaborate system of cavernous vaults in a manner resembling diamonds. It was widely used especially in Central European countries....

 architecture, in traditional dress patterns of Slavic peoples
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

, and in traditional Ukrainian embroidery
Ukrainian embroidery
Ukrainian embroidery occupies an important place among the various branches of Ukrainian decorative arts. Embroidery has a rich history in Ukraine, and has long appeared in Ukrainian folk dress as well as played a part in traditional Ukrainian weddings and other celebrations. Appearing all across...

. The lozenge pattern also appears extensively in Celtic art
Celtic art
Celtic art is the art associated with the peoples known as Celts; those who spoke the Celtic languages in Europe from pre-history through to the modern period, as well as the art of ancient peoples whose language is uncertain, but have cultural and stylistic similarities with speakers of Celtic...

, art from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, and ancient Phrygia
In antiquity, Phrygia was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey. The Phrygians initially lived in the southern Balkans; according to Herodotus, under the name of Bryges , changing it to Phruges after their final migration to Anatolia, via the...

n art.

Seventeenth century orchard
An orchard is an intentional planting of trees or shrubs that is maintained for food production. Orchards comprise fruit or nut-producing trees which are grown for commercial production. Orchards are also sometimes a feature of large gardens, where they serve an aesthetic as well as a productive...

s in England were planted on a symmetrical grid pattern. In 1659, philosopher Sir Thomas Browne published The Garden of Cyrus
The Garden of Cyrus
The Garden of Cyrus or The Quincunciall Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the Ancients, naturally, artificially, mystically considered is a Discourse written by Sir Thomas Browne. It was first published in 1658, along with its diptych companion, Urn-Burial...

 subtitled The Quincunciall Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the Ancients where he outlined mystical
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 interconnection of art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

 and the Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

. He suggested that ancient plantations used the quincunx
A quincunx is a geometric pattern consisting of five points arranged in a cross, that is five coplanar points, four of them forming a square or rectangle and a fifth at its center...

 pattern that revealed the "mystical mathematics of the city of Heaven" and proof of the wisdom of God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....


Lozenges appear as symbols in ancient classic element systems
Classical element
Many philosophies and worldviews have a set of classical elements believed to reflect the simplest essential parts and principles of which anything consists or upon which the constitution and fundamental powers of anything are based. Most frequently, classical elements refer to ancient beliefs...

, in amulets, and in religious symbolism
Religious symbolism
Religious symbolism is the use of symbols, including archetypes, acts, artwork, events, or natural phenomena, by a religion. Religions view religious texts, rituals, and works of art as symbols of compelling ideas or ideals...

. In a suit
Suit (cards)
In playing cards, a suit is one of several categories into which the cards of a deck are divided. Most often, each card bears one of several symbols showing to which suit it belongs; the suit may alternatively or in addition be indicated by the color printed on the card...

 of playing cards, diamonds is in the shape of a lozenge.


The lozenge glyph
A glyph is an element of writing: an individual mark on a written medium that contributes to the meaning of what is written. A glyph is made up of one or more graphemes....

 is found in IBM 026 punched card
Punched card
A punched card, punch card, IBM card, or Hollerith card is a piece of stiff paper that contains digital information represented by the presence or absence of holes in predefined positions...

 code ⌑ (12-8-4), DOS
DOS, short for "Disk Operating System", is an acronym for several closely related operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market between 1981 and 1995, or until about 2000 if one includes the partially DOS-based Microsoft Windows versions 95, 98, and Millennium Edition.Related...

 code page 437
Code page 437
IBM PC or MS-DOS code page 437 is the character set of the original IBM PC. It is also known as CP 437, OEM 437, PC-8, MS-DOS Latin US or sometimes misleadingly referred to as the OEM font, High ASCII or Extended ASCII....

 (at character code 4) and Mac-Roman. It is found in the Unicode
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

 Geometrical Shapes block as . The LaTeX
LaTeX is a document markup language and document preparation system for the TeX typesetting program. Within the typesetting system, its name is styled as . The term LaTeX refers only to the language in which documents are written, not to the editor used to write those documents. In order to...

 command for the lozenge is \lozenge.

Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

U+2666 and U+2662
♦ ♢

HyperText Markup Language is the predominant markup language for web pages. HTML elements are the basic building-blocks of webpages....

♦ (or ♦) and ♢
♦ ♢

Encoded variants are:

Modal logic

In modal logic
Modal logic
Modal logic is a type of formal logic that extends classical propositional and predicate logic to include operators expressing modality. Modals — words that express modalities — qualify a statement. For example, the statement "John is happy" might be qualified by saying that John is...

, the lozenge expresses the possibility of the following expression. For example, the expression expresses that it is possible that P is true.


In axiomatic set theory, the lozenge refers to the principles known collectively as diamondsuit
In mathematics, and particularly in axiomatic set theory, the diamond principle ◊ is a combinatorial principle introduced by that holds in the constructible universe and that implies the continuum hypothesis...



During the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the Germans
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 developed Lozenge-Tarnung (lozenge camouflage
Lozenge camouflage
Lozenge camouflage was a military camouflage scheme in the form of patterned cloth or painted designs used by some aircraft of the Central Powers in the last two years of . It takes its name from the repeated polygon shapes incorporated in the designs, many of which resembled lozenges...

). This camouflage was made up of colored polygon
In geometry a polygon is a flat shape consisting of straight lines that are joined to form a closed chain orcircuit.A polygon is traditionally a plane figure that is bounded by a closed path, composed of a finite sequence of straight line segments...

s of four or five colors. The repeating patterns often used irregular four-, five- and six-sided polygons, but some contained regular rhombi or hexagons. Because painting such a pattern was very time consuming, and the paint added considerably to the weight of the aircraft, the pattern was printed on fabric. This pre-printed fabric was used from 1916 until the end of the war, in various forms and colours.


The lozenge in heraldry
Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound harja-waldaz, "army commander"...

 is a diamond-shaped charge
Charge (heraldry)
In heraldry, a charge is any emblem or device occupying the field of an escutcheon . This may be a geometric design or a symbolic representation of a person, animal, plant, object or other device...

, usually somewhat narrower than it is tall. A mascle is a voided lozenge—that is, a lozenge with a lozenge-shaped hole in the middle—and the rarer rustre is a lozenge containing a circular hole. A field covered in a pattern of lozenges is described as lozengy; a similar field of mascles is masculy.

Cough tablets

Cough tablets have taken the name lozenge, based on their original shape. According to the Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

the first use of this sense was in 1530.

U.S. Military

The lozenge is used in the U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

, Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

, and Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 on the insignia of their respective First Sergeant
First Sergeant
First sergeant is the name of a military rank used in many countries, typically a senior non-commissioned officer.-Singapore:First Sergeant is a Specialist in the Singapore Armed Forces. First Sergeants are the most senior of the junior Specialists, ranking above Second Sergeants, and below Staff...


They are also used in the Junior ROTC
Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps
The Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps is a Federal program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools across the United States...

 and the Cadet Program in the Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force . CAP is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and...

, for Officers from the military pay grades of Cadet O-4 to Cadet O-6 (c/Major, c/Lieutenant Colonel to c/Colonel).

Finnish Defence Forces

In Finnish military ranks
Finnish military ranks
Finnish military ranks form a system that incorporates features from Swedish, German, and Russian armed forces. In addition, the system has some typically Finnish characteristics that are mostly due to the personnel structure of the Finnish Defence Forces. The ranks have official names in Finnish...

, the lozenge is found in the insignia of conscript officer students (one lozenge) and conscript officer cadets (two lozenges).


The lozenge can be used on public roadways in the United States and Canada to mark a specific lane for a particular use. The lane will usually be painted with a lozenge at a regular interval, and signage will be installed to indicate the restrictions on using the lane. This marking is most often used to denote high-occupancy vehicle lane
High-occupancy vehicle lane
In transportation engineering and transportation planning, a high-occupancy vehicle lane is a lane reserved for vehicles with a driver and one or more passengers...

s or bus lane
Bus lane
A bus lane or bus only lane is a lane restricted to buses, and generally used to speed up public transport that would be otherwise held up by traffic congestion...

s, with accompanying signage reading "◊ HOV LANE" or "◊ BUS LANE" and giving the requirements for a vehicle to be accepted. Prior to 17 January 2006, lozenges could also be used to mark bicycle-only lanes, often in conjunction with a bicycle icon. In New Zealand, a lozenge marked in white paint on the road indicates an upcoming uncontrolled pedestrian crossing.

See also

  • Petrosomatoglyph
    A petrosomatoglyph is an image of parts of a human or animal body incised in rock. Many were created by Celtic peoples, such as the Picts, Scots, Irish, Cornish, Cumbrians, Bretons and Welsh. These representations date from the Early Middle Ages; others of uncertain purpose date back to megalithic...

     Lozenges as symbols in prehistory.
  • Píča
    Pica may refer to:*Pica , in typesetting and document layout*Pica , abnormal appetite for earth and other non-foods*Pica , a genus of magpie*Pica Press, a publishing imprint*Pica, Chile, city in the Tarapacá Region of Chile...

    is a similar symbol.
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