al·​le·​gor·​i·​cal | \ˌa-lə-ˈgȯr-i-kəl, -ˈgär-\

Definition of allegorical 

1 : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of allegory allegorical paintings allegorical meanings of images allegorical symbols of our culture

2 : having hidden spiritual meaning that transcends the literal sense of a sacred text

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from allegorical

allegorically \ -​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb
allegoricalness \ -​kəl-​nəs \ noun

Examples of allegorical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Oscar winner will play a magistrate who reconsiders his role in a regime in the adaptation of J.M. Coetzee's allegorical novel. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Mark Rylance Confirmed for 'Waiting for the Barbarians' (Exclusive)," 12 July 2018 Two young black men encounter a mysterious white stranger in Antoinette Nwandu's allegorical drama seen previously at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, where it was filmed by Spike Lee. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Pass Over': Theater Review," 19 June 2018 But his fact-and-fantasy images of existential violence and degradation, past and present, are in an old allegorical mode. New York Times, "He Spoke Out During the AIDS Crisis. See Why His Art Still Matters.," 12 July 2018 Based in Mumbai, Mr. Kallat has been best known since the mid-1990s for allegorical paintings and sculptures combining news photographs, self-portraiture and images of urban chaos and violence. New York Times, "What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," 6 June 2018 MewithoutYous shift into brooding indie folk, with reverberant waltzes that touch on religious themes and allegorical subjects. John Adamian,, "Seven Concerts You Might Want To See (And Why)," 9 June 2018 The film doesn’t grapple with massive allegorical topics, either. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Solo film review: Best when it embraces its favorite action-movie urges," 24 May 2018 As such, Happy as Lazzaro feels both timeless and of the moment but, especially in its second half, can’t seem to make up its mind between being literal, allegorical, simply anecdotal or a kind of loose association of all these possibilities. Boyd Van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Happy as Lazzaro' ('Lazzaro Felice'): Film Review | Cannes 2018," 13 May 2018 Sometimes the visions people described seemed more allegorical than literal, but no less meaningful. Moises Velasquez-manoff, WIRED, "Ketamine Stirs Up Hope—and Controversy—as a Depression Drug," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'allegorical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of allegorical

1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for allegorical

see allegory

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about allegorical

Share allegorical

Statistics for allegorical

Last Updated

26 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for allegorical

The first known use of allegorical was in 1528

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on allegorical

What made you want to look up allegorical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!