Glossary

Browse the glossary by clicking on any of the letters below.

  A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  |  J  |  K  |  L  |  M

  N  |  O  |  P  |  Q  |  R  |  S  |  T  |  U  |  V  |  W  |  X  |  Z

Alphabetically Arranged with Cyclopedic Meanings and Bible References

Dagger

In the high degrees it is employed as a symbol of Masonic vengeance or the punishment of a crime.

Damascus

This is an ancient and very important city of Syria on the road between Babylon and Jerusalem.  Masonic tradition makes it one of the resting places for the caravan of Jews returning from Babylon under the decree of Cyrus.

Dan - judge

Q.  What was symbolized by the tribe of Dan? 

A.  Fifth son of Jacob and the seventh point of the ancient English lectures.  It was foretold that this tribe should be bold, courageous, daring, and cunning; the history of Israel fully sustains this prophecy.  The blue banner of Dan, charged with an eagle, is borne by the Grand Master of the First Veil in the Royal Arch Chapter, emblematic of the true character of the Royal Arch Masons.  Advancing to the altar was symbolized by the Tribe of Dan, which teaches us by contrast that we should advance toward truth and holiness as rapidly as that tribe advanced toward idolatry, among whom the golden serpent was first set up to receive adoration.  Gen. 49:16-18

Daniel - God is my judge

Daniel was a Hebrew prophet, contemporary of Ezekiel about 600 B.C.  He was among the Hebrew noblemen carried to Babylon in the fourth year of king Jehoiakim, and was selected for the highest education among the Chaldeans by order of the Court.  Although he was a prophet of the colonized Jews, he was advanced to high political positions by Nebuchadnezzar, and later by Darius of the Medo-Persian Empire.  He was famed for the interpretation of dreams and visions, as narrated in the Fifteenth Degree of the Scottish Rite.  His name, with that of "Darius" is a counter-sign in the Thirty-Second Degree, Scottish Rite.

Danger

Masons are provided with a secret sign by which they are required to warn a brother when he is in danger of any kind.

Damascene

The art of encrusting the surface of metal, usually steel or copper, with gold or silver by beating it into prepared grooves.

Darius

Q.  What was the decree and order of Darius? 

A.  Also made a decree, furthering the rebuilding of the Temple.  Ordered Tatnai governor beyond the river, Shethar-boznai, and his companions, to let the work of this house of God alone.  Darius is referred to in the Degrees of the Princes of Jerusalem, sixteenth of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and the Companion of the Red Cross in the American Rite.  Ezra 6:1-12 -  Ezra 6:16,17

Darkness to Light

In Freemasonry, even as in the system of Jewish and Christian religion, darkness is a symbol of ignorance; while light is a symbol of enlightenment and knowledge.  It is a principle of Freemasonry that the natural eye can not perceive of the mysteries of the Order until the heart has embraced the deep spiritual and mystic meanings of those sublime mysteries.  Hence all applicants for the Degrees of Freemasonry are required to enter the Lodge in total darkness, this darkness is preparatory and preliminary to his receiving the light he desires and searches.  Gen. 1:1-3 -  2 Cor. 4:6 -  John 8:12 -  2 Pet. 1:4-9

Date letter

One of four or five assay marks on English silver, indicated by a letter of the alphabet enclosed in a cartouche.  Each of the British assay offices uses most of the alphabet, changing the style of the letters, and/or alternating with upper and lower case, and the style of the cartouche, with each new alphabet.

Date mark

A stamped mark used occasionally by some United States silver manufacturers.

Daughters of Music

In Eccles., 12th chapter, what does this signify?  Refers to the infirmities of old age, when the voice and hearing fail.  Eccles. 12:4

David King of Israel - well beloved

Q.  Why did David not build the Temple? 

A.  But God said unto me, thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.  And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.  1 Chron. 28:3 and 6

Deacon

In every symbolic Lodge there are two officers called Senior and Junior Deacons.  Their duties comprehend a general surveillance over the Lodge, the introduction of visitors, and to serve as proxy for the Worshipful Master in certain circumstances.

Death

The Masonic idea of death, like the Christian's, is accompanied with no gloom, because it is represented only as physical sleep for an unknown period of time, from which there will be an awakening of the body and a resurrection of a spiritual body capable and fitted for human life.  From beginning to end the rituals of Freemasonry teach and symbolize the doctrine of man's immortality and repudiate every iota of the doctrine of annihilation at death.  This is the chief object of the Third Degree, as every Mason can testify.  In Masonic philosophy death is the symbol of initiation completed, in which the resurrection of the body will be its final consummation.  John 11:11-14 -  Ps. 116:15 -  Rom. 14:8 -  Rev. 14:13 -  1 Cor. 15:51-57

Definition of Masonry

Freemasonry has been well defined as, "A peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols."  By the practice of Freemasonry its members may advance by their spirituality, and mount by the theological ladder from the Lodge on earth to the Lodge in heaven.  Freemasonry is not, however, a system of religion; it is the handmaiden to religion, enforcing its daily practice.

Defraud

The ethics of Freemasonry demand honesty and fair-dealing with all men, and similar to the Mosaic Law, rigidly forbid the defrauding of a brother Mason by another Mason.  Personal dealings between brother Masons must always be conducted on the highest levels of common honesty and brotherly consideration.  What was the Mosiac law in regard to defraud?  See 1 Thes. 4:6 and Lev. 19:13

Degree

What does the word degree signify?  As the word implies, is merely a grade or step, or preparation, as one grade is but preparatory to another higher, and so on to the sublime.  A degree sometimes, means a class or order, but not in Freemasonry.   Gen. 28:12

Deist

Deism is a belief in God upon only the basis of reason and nature; it rejects supernatural revelation and the supernatural elements in religion.  Many freethinkers of France in the 16th and 17th centuries were classified as Deists.  It is a gross error to say that they had great influence upon Freemasonry of that period.  The principles and tenets of Freemasonry repudiate deism.  Masons are Theists; they believe in the One True and Living God; they recognize His supernatural revelations of Himself and of His will, and the supernatural elements in true religion.

Delamination

A metallic defect that occurs when impurities or internal stress causes the adjacent layers of a clad to separate.

Demit

A Mason is said to demit from his Lodge when he withdraws his membership; and a demit is a document granted by the Lodge which certifies that the demission has been accepted by the Lodge, and that the demitting brother is clear of the books and in good standing as a Mason.  It is derived from the French reflective verb se demettre, which, according to the dictionary of the Academy, means "to withdraw from an office, to resign an employment."

DeMolay, Jacques

The last Grand Master of the Knights Templars prior to the dissolution of this Order by the edict of Pope Clement XII.  He was publicly burned at the stake in Paris, March 11th, 1314 - A martyr to the principles of Freemasonry.  ARTICLE

DeMolay, Order of

Founded March 24th, 1919, at Kansas City Missouri, where the International DeMolay Headquarters are maintained.  Its founder was Frank S. Land, whose purpose was to promote and maintain a social and fraternal club for boys between the ages of 12 and 21 years of age.  The order became popular from its beginning, and in a few years became International in scope.  For more information you can visit their website at:  http://www.demolay.org/home/

DEP.

Abbreviation for Deponiert and Deposť.

Deponiert

German mark meaning registered.  Often shortened to DEP, and may be followed by GES, which is short for Geschutz. 

Deposť

French mark meaning registered.  Similar to the "copyright" or "patent".  Often shortened to DEP, and so may be confused with the German mark.

Desires Shall Fail

Q.  What is the meaning of this metaphor? 

A.  Has reference to man, in the infirmities of old age, when frivolous affairs are no longer desired.  Eccles. 12:5

Destruction of the Temple

Q.  What became of the two pillars Boaz and Jachin? 

A.  Plundered by Shishak 956 B.C. 1 Kings 14:25-26.   Hezekiah forced by Sennacherib to pay tribute.  At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.  2 Kings 18:13-16  And in the fifth month on the seventh day of the month, 599 B.C. which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchasnezzar, king of Babylon, came Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard.  See 2 Kings 25:1-17  for complete destruction of the temple.

Dew of Herman

In Palestine, which is arid for almost half the year, dews have always been sources if irrigation, fertilization, and refreshment for agricultural growths.  Mount Hermon was noted for its heavy dews.  The phrase is a symbolic expression in Masonry denoting the bedewing influences of divine grace... Gen. 27:28 -  Ps. 110:3 -  Ps. 133:1-3 -  Hos. 6:4

Die

A hardened metal punch, the face of which carries an intaglio or incuse mirror image of the design to be struck on one side of a medal, coin or medallion.

Dispensation

It is an instrument which legalizes an act or ceremony, such as opening a lodge without a warrant, forming a Masonic procession, or the like, which would be illegal without it.  The power of granting dispensations is very properly vested in the Grand Master, or his deputy, who are the best judges on what occasions it ought to be exercised.

Distressed Worthy Brother

"Going to the aid of a distressed worthy brother" is the solemn duty of every Mason, enjoined by both Masonic instruction and the word of God... Eccl. 4:9-12 -  Matt. 6:1-4 -  Gal. 6:1,2 -  Heb. 13:1-3

Divine Truth

What is the true meaning of The Lost Word?  See Ineffable Name, St. John 1:1

Doors of Masonic Knowledge

What is one of the lamentable weaknesses of Masonry?  That the newly initiated candidate is left to shift for himself, and not instructed that there is more to Masonry than just a few grips, signs, and passwords.  He has received the key, the degrees, and it is necessary if he desires to leave the rut of ritualistic routine and inform himself on the nature and character of the institution.  He may enter the recesses of its caverns with Masonic pick and shovel, in search of the jewels hidden there, and invest himself with the rich fruits of Masonic knowledge all the days of his life.  Matt. 13:1-17

Doors Shall Be Shut in the Streets when the Sound of the Grinding is Low

What does this veiled allegory signify?  In the beautiful and effecting description of the body of a man suffering under the infirmities of old age recorded in the 12th chapter of Eccles. we find this expression, and refers to the loss of teeth, and trying to chew his food.  Eccles. 12:4

Doric

The Doric is the second of the five orders of architecture, and is that between the Tuscan and the Ionic.  It is the most natural and best proportioned of all the orders; all its parts being founded on the natural position of solid bodies.

Dotage

What is meant by an old man in dotage?  The fruit has ripened and rotted in old age, childish desires, a loss of judgment and memory, and a senseless garrulity of speech, absence of that intellect which is required for the comprehension of our mysteries.  Eccles. 10:13

Double Cube

A cubical figure, whose length is equal to twice its breadth and height.  Solomon's Temple is said to have been of this figure, and hence it sometimes has been adopted as the symbol of a Masonic Lodge.

Dove

The "Dove" in early Masonry is a symbol of Noah's messenger.  In ancient symbolism, the Dove represented purity and innocence and was often seen bearing an olive branch.

D.P.A.

Patent applied for. German.

Draw plate

A steel plate through which silver or brass wire is drawn to diminish the diameter or change the shape.

D.R.G.M.

Deutsches Reichsgebrauchsmuster.  Registered design or petty patent.  German.  Said to be pre-1918.

D.R.P.

Patented.  German.

D.R.P.A.

Patent applied for.  German.

Due Guard

A mode of recognition which derives its name from its object, which is to duly guard the person using it as regards his obligations, and the penalty for their violation.  It is derived from an ancient, and still current expression used in Scottish Masonry, when the Worshipful Master, on opening the Lodge, says "and this shall be your Dieu Guarde and sign", the former being the first part of the sign, with the two hands held horizontally, the left palm up and the right, above, palm down; the latter part is the penal sign.  In some of the old rituals of the date of 1757, the expression is used, but only as referring to what is now called the sign.

Dues

A Lodge has a right to levy a tax upon its members.  This is paid under the name of "dues" or "quarterage."  The subject of dues is a local matter, with which Grand Lodges should not interfere; yet it must be admitted, under the theory advanced elsewhere on the subject of by-laws, that a Grand Lodge has, if it chooses, an unquestionable right to adopt any regulation controlling the action of its subordinates, in respect to this tax.  

Dust Returns to Earth

Q.  What does this reference refer to? 

A.  Has reference to man, when he travels to that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns.  Eccles. 12:7

Dutch silver

May be used to denote silverware made in the Netherlands. See Dutch silver novelties.

Dutch silver novelties

A trademark used by Johnson, Haywood, Piper & Co. Probably silver-plate.

Duty

The duty of a Mason as an honest man is plain and easy.  It requires of him honesty in contracts, sincerity in affirming, simplicity in bargaining and faithfulness in performing.  To sleep little, and to study much; to say little and to think and hear much; to learn, that he may be able to do; and then to do earnestly and vigorously whatever the good of his fellows, his country and mankind requires, are the duties of every Mason.

 

Click here to return to the Glossary Index

 

         

Museum Home Page     Phoenixmasonry Home Page

Copyrighted © 1999 - 2013   Phoenixmasonry, Inc.      The Fine Print