Definition of symbol
1 : an authoritative summary of faith or doctrine : creed
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 : an arbitrary or conventional sign used in writing or printing relating to a particular field to represent operations, quantities, elements, relations, or qualities
4 : an object or act representing something in the unconscious mind that has been repressed phallic symbols
5 : an act, sound, or object having cultural significance and the capacity to excite or objectify a response
Examples of symbol in a Sentence
the traditional physician's symbol of a staff entwined with a snake
the symbol ¶ indicates where a new paragraph should begin
Recent Examples of symbol from the Web
Uber, meanwhile, has become its own symbol of excess.
Since then, at least 60 public Confederate symbols have been removed since the 2015 church shooting, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Celestial symbols, animals, hunters and even these dragons (pictured above) are evidence of the lives and imaginations of ancient ancestors.
The situation is somewhat ironic: the heart of the computer, which itself is the symbol of mechanization, is made by the age-old kind of labor that produced brocades and carpets.
Over the past two decades, Hillsborough has gradually distanced itself from Confederate symbols.
After Thursday, after the funeral, Warmbier will go back to being an international symbol.
The idea sounds niche, but consider this: Sneakers have become status symbols, not to mention wearable investments.
Some fans think the shadow cast by the lamp in Horne’s office was meant to evoke the iconic Black Lodge symbol.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'symbol'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology 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 centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of symbol
First Known Use of symbol
SYMBOL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of symbol for English Language Learners
: 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
SYMBOL Defined for Kids
Definition of symbol for Students
1 : something that stands for something else : emblem The eagle is a symbol of the United States.
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 Definition of symbol
: 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
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