noun \sim-ˈpō-zē-əm also -zh(ē-)əm\

: a formal meeting at which experts discuss a particular topic

: a collection of articles on a particular subject

plural sym·po·sia\-zē-ə, -zh(ē-)ə\ or sym·po·siums

Full Definition of SYMPOSIUM

a :  a convivial party (as after a banquet in ancient Greece) with music and conversation
b :  a social gathering at which there is free interchange of ideas
a :  a formal meeting at which several specialists deliver short addresses on a topic or on related topics — compare colloquium
b :  a collection of opinions on a subject; especially :  one published by a periodical
c :  discussion

Examples of SYMPOSIUM

  1. Professors and graduate students attended the symposium.
  2. <recently attended a daylong symposium on new methods of chromatography>


Latin, from Greek symposion, from sympinein to drink together, from syn- + pinein to drink — more at potable
First Known Use: 1711


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In ancient Greece, an aristocratic banquet at which men met to discuss philosophical and political issues and recite poetry. It began as a warrior feast. Rooms were designed specifically for the proceedings. The participants, all male aristocrats, wore garlands and leaned on the left elbow on couches, and there was much drinking of wine, served by slave boys. Prayers opened and closed the meetings; sessions sometimes ended with a procession in the streets. In Plato's famous Symposium, an imaginary dialogue takes place between Socrates, Aristophanes, Alcibiades, and others on the subject of love. Aristotle, Xenophon, and Epicurus wrote symposium literature on other subjects.


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