Police officers wear a badge — a shiny piece of metal that lets you know they're cops. Badges can also be metaphors — for example, a scar could considered be a badge of honor.

Police officers are the best-known badge-wearers, but lots of employees — especially federal employees — have to wear some kind of badge to work. The badge lets other people know who you are and what you do. Other kinds of badges are not so official. If a football player broke his leg during a big game, the cast could be called a "badge of honor," because of his playing and his toughness. All badges let others know who you are and why you're important.

Definitions of badge

n an emblem (a small piece of plastic or cloth or metal) that signifies your status (rank or membership or affiliation etc.)

“they checked everyone's badge before letting them in”
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merit badge
a badge award to Boy Scouts in recognition of special projects
a badge worn to show official position
I.D., ID
a card or badge used to identify the bearer
black belt
a black sash worn to show expert standards in the martial arts (judo or karate)
blue ribbon, cordon bleu
an honor or award gained for excellence
a round flat badge displaying information and suitable for pinning onto a garment
chevron, grade insignia, stripe, stripes
V-shaped sleeve badge indicating military rank and service
a piece of braid, usually on the sleeve, indicating military rank or length of service
an insignia used by the medical profession; modeled after the staff of Hermes
insignia of rank
an insignia worn on a military uniform
shoulder flash
something worn on the shoulder of a military uniform as an emblem of a division etc.
hash mark, hashmark, service stripe
an insignia worn to indicate years of service
cord or ribbon worn as an insignia of honor or rank
stylized bird wings worn as an insignia by qualified pilots or air crew members
Type of:
allegory, emblem
a visible symbol representing an abstract idea

n any feature that is regarded as a sign of status (a particular power or quality or rank)

“wearing a tie was regarded as a badge of respectability”
Type of:
characteristic, feature
a prominent attribute or aspect of something

v put a badge on

“The workers here must be badged
Type of:
label, mark, tag
attach a tag or label to

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