e pluribus unum
Definition of e pluribus unum: out of many (states or colonies), one (nation) —used on the Great Seal of the U.S. and on several U.S. coins Learn More about e pluribus unum Dictionary Entries near e . Feb 22, · "E pluribus unum" literally translates to "out of many, one." The phrase "e pluribus unum" is Latin, and it translates literally as "out of many, one." Many people are familiar with this phrase from the context of the Great Seal of the United States, which appears on some American currency and government documents.
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E pluribus unum is the motto suggested by the committee Congress appointed on July 4, to design "a seal for the United States of America." The below sketch of their design accompanied a detailed description of their idea for the new nation's official emblem. A motto of the United States; Latin for “Out of many, one.” It refers to the Union formed by the separate states. E pluribus unum was adopted as a national motto in and is now found on the Great Seal of the United States and on United States currency. E Pluribus Unum Artist John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence memorializes individuals who were engaged in the process of declaring independence rather than an actual event. Not all of those pictured were present at the reporting of the Declaration on June .
The phrase "e pluribus unum" is Latin, and it translates literally as "out of many, one. Several organizations have also adopted the phrase as their mottos, both in the United States and abroad. This phrase has murky origins that are difficult to pin down. A similar phrase appears in the works of Virgil, specifically in a recipe for salad, or at least so claims Bill Bryson in Made in America , a survey of American English.
The term was also used by Gentlemen's Magazine , a popular publication among the upper classes in the 18th century. Every year, the publication would print an issue featuring the best work from the previous year, and undoubtedly the upper class Americans in the government of the nascent nation would have been familiar with the magazine and this annual "best of" issue.
Whatever the origins, "e pluribus unum" was adopted by Congress in as an official motto , along with "annuit coeptis" "he has approved our undertakings" and "novus ordo seclorum" "a new order for the ages". Almost immediately, the phrase was being integrated into design proposals for the Great Seal of the United States, and by , it was also appearing on American currency.
Incidentally, American currency was not widely standardized until the middle of the 19th century; prior to this period, banks freely printed their own currency, and shopkeepers also had to accept foreign currency, keeping a formidable table of exchange rates in their heads. On the Great Seal of the United States, the phrase appears in the banner held in the beak of the American eagle.
The busy eagle is also holding an olive branch and a quiver of arrows in its left and right talons, respectively. The phrase is meant to symbolize the union of the 13 original colonies , and their close relationship with the federal government. Over time, people have also taken "e pluribus unum" to refer to the ethnic diversity in the United States. The motto appears on all modern American currency, sometimes along with the eagle and, more often, independently.
The Great Seal of the United States is also featured on American passports, government documents, bills that have been signed into law, treaties, and other formal communications from the United States government. Incidentally, the Secretary of State is the keeper of the official physical seal of the United States, which is used over 2, times a year on official documents. Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer.
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