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1

symbol

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noun sym·bol \ˈsim-bəl\

Simple Definition of symbol

  • : an action, object, event, etc., that expresses or represents a particular idea or quality

  • : a letter, group of letters, character, or picture that is used instead of a word or group of words

Full Definition of symbol

  1. 1 :  an authoritative summary of faith or doctrine :  creed

  2. 2 :  something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance; especially :  a visible sign of something invisible <the lion is a symbol of courage>

  3. 3 :  an arbitrary or conventional sign used in writing or printing relating to a particular field to represent operations, quantities, elements, relations, or qualities

  4. 4 :  an object or act representing something in the unconscious mind that has been repressed <phallic symbols>

  5. 5 :  an act, sound, or object having cultural significance and the capacity to excite or objectify a response

Examples of symbol

  1. <the traditional physician's symbol of a staff entwined with a snake>

  2. <the symbol ¶ indicates where a new paragraph should begin>



Origin of symbol

in sense 1, from Late Latin symbolum, from Late Greek symbolon, from Greek, token, sign; in other senses from Latin symbolum token, sign, symbol, from Greek symbolon, literally, token of identity verified by comparing its other half, from symballein to throw together, compare, from syn- + ballein to throw — more at devil


First Known Use: 15th century

Other Alphabet Terms

Rhymes with symbol


2

symbol

verb sym·bol

Definition of symbol

symboled or symbolledsymbol·ing or symbol·ling



1832

First Known Use of symbol

1832



SYMBOL Defined for Kids

symbol

play
noun sym·bol \ˈsim-bəl\

Definition of symbol

  1. 1 :  something that stands for something else :  emblem <The eagle is a symbol of the United States.>

  2. 2 :  a letter, character, or sign used instead of a word to represent a quantity, position, relationship, direction, or something to be done <The sign + is the symbol for addition.>




Medical Dictionary

symbol

play
noun sym·bol \ˈsim-bəl\

Medical Definition of symbol

  1. :  something that stands for or suggests something else: asa:  an arbitrary or conventional sign used in writing or printing relating to a particular field to represent operations, quantities, elements, relations, or qualitiesb:  an object or act representing something in the unconscious mind that has been repressed <phallic symbols>

  2. sym·bol·ic \sim-ˈbäl-ik\play adjective
    sym·bol·i·cal·ly \-i-k(ə-)lē\play adverb





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