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TIARA (tee-AHR-uh)

A type of crown
Common clues: Pageant crown; Coronet; Princess topper; Crownlet; Jeweled headpiece; Royal headgear; Runway topper; Pope's crown; It's fit for a queen
Crossword puzzle frequency: 5 times a year
Frequency in English language: 41641 / 86800
News: Inside the Fight for Queen Victoria's Wedding Tiara
Look at my tiara

Sit by the homely girl, you'll look better by comparison ~ Debra Maffett, Miss America 1983

A tiara (from Persian tara borrowed by Latin as 'tiara') is a form of crown. There are two possible types of crown that this word can refer to.

Traditionally, the word "tiara" refers to a high crown, often with the shape of a cylinder narrowed at its top, made of fabric or leather, and richly ornamented. It was used by the kings and emperors of some ancient peoples in Mesopotamia. The Assyrians used to include a pair of bull horns as a decoration and symbol of authority and a circle of short feathers surrounding the tiara's top. The Persian tiara was more similar to a truncated cone, without the horns and feathers but more jewels, and a conic-shaped tip at its top. In Catholicism, the Papal Tiara is a high cap surrounded by three crowns and bearing a globe surmounted by a cross worn by the Pope during certain ceremonies, being the symbol of his authority. Since Pope Paul VI, set aside his tiara after the Second Vatican Council, the Papal Tiara has not been used. Pope Benedict XVI even removed the tiara from his Coat of Arms, replacing it with a mitre.

In modern times, however, a tiara is generally a semi-circular band, often metal-made and decorated with jewels. It is worn by women around their head or on the forehead. They are frequently used to "crown" the winners of beauty pageants. The fictional superheroine Wonder Woman is usually depicted wearing a tiara; hers can be thrown as a weapon, as can that worn by the character known as The Pope.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tiara".