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a personal adornment, sometimes an amulet, worn attached to the ear lobe. Since prehistoric times the ear has been pierced for the insertion of the earring; certain primitive tribes distort the lobe with plugs several inches in diameter or with heavy stones. Egyptians first wore large gold hoops, which eventually became smaller and supported pendants. In Babylonia and later in Assyria where the earring was worn by men to denote rank, the earring evolved into an exquisite work of the goldsmith's art. In Greece the finely wrought gold earrings often had tinkling pendants. The Romans were first to popularize earrings set with precious stones. Earrings were little used with the headdresses of the Middle Ages, but their use had a vigorous revival during the Renaissance and was also adopted by men; pearls were especially favored. In the 18th cent. the diamond earring became most fashionable; the 19th cent. saw extensive use of the cameo. With the invention (c.1900) of a screw device for attaching the earring, their popularity again increased.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an ornament usually attached to a pierced earlobe and worn by women and, less commonly, by men. In the Bronze Age earrings were made mainly of copper, silver, and gold. In antiquity earrings were made of precious metals combined with glass, jewels, and pearls. The most popular type of earring is a loop with a pendant. The wearing of earrings was sometimes associated with a definite legal or family status. For example, in ancient Rome the only men who wore earrings were male slaves. Among the ancient Slavs, the earrings worn by maidens differed from those worn by married women. Today earrings are produced in many different styles and continue to be a popular ornament worn by women.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
"Hey, my boy, we'll get her some proper earrings now!
I liked you especially when you told us about the diamond earrings; but I liked you before that as well, though you have such a dark-clouded sort of face.
The man beside him with the earrings and the big black case proceeded to unlock it.
CRYSTAL SHELL HOOP EARRINGS: These gold-look, crystal shell hoop earrings are perfect for rocking at the beach.
GAn unlikely contender has turned our heads away from high shine hoops and tassels: resin earrings.
It comes after fans mocked the over-sized earrings, comparing one to the triangle musical instrument, as another was compared to a drink coaster.
Earrings, bangles, rings and necklaces can completely change the outlook of your outfit.
The incident was caught on the CCTV, where the rat could be seen carrying away the earrings kept in a yellow plastic bag.
With spring collections starting to hit the high street, NISHA MAL checks out M&S's latest edit Mustard trench coat PS99, button-down top PS45, cream shorts PS49.50, white trainers with rainbow stripes PS25 Light blue denim shirt PS32.50, indigo denim skirt PS25 Cover picture: shirt PS29.50, striped shorts PS35, belt PS25, earrings PS9.50, layered necklace PS12.50, all clothes Marks & Spencer Terracotta jacket PS49.50, white top PS19.50, terracotta shorts PS29.50, earrings PS9.50, thatch-design backpack PS25, sandals PS39.50 Lightweight jacket PS59, cream jumpsuit PS49.50, multi-coloured earrings PS12.50, faux snakeskin sandals PS24 Denim shirt PS32.50, flared jeans PS29.50, earrings PS9.50, yellow courts PS25
Whether you're buying a gift or a little something for yourself, a delicate pair of drop earrings make a lovely addition to a party outfit, while tiny star studs look great all year round.
Whether you're buying a gift or a little something for yourself, a delicate pair drop earrings make a lovely addition to party outfit, while tiny star studs look great all year round.