symbol

noun
sym·​bol | \ ˈsim-bəl How to pronounce symbol (audio) \

Definition of symbol

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

symbol

verb
symboled or symbolled; symboling or symbolling

Definition of symbol (Entry 2 of 2)

Synonyms for symbol

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of symbol in a Sentence

Noun the traditional physician's symbol of a staff entwined with a snake the symbol ¶ indicates where a new paragraph should begin
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Once the symbol of Silicon Valley’s prosperity, Facebook has for years offered its employees state-of-the-art perks such as free food, generous family benefits and some of the highest salaries across the technology industry. Naomi Nix, Washington Post, 27 July 2022 Another important Day of the Dead symbol is the marigold. Katarina Avendano, Good Housekeeping, 25 July 2022 Before the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, few outside of the country took note of the trident symbol at the center of Ukraine’s national emblem. Ellen Feingold, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 July 2022 While the southern sea otter captures the attention of younger visitors, the symbol of the aquarium is another Monterey Bay icon: a whorl of kelp. Andrew Robinson, Scientific American, 21 July 2022 The Guardian symbol was adopted this year by the city’s baseball team. cleveland, 21 July 2022 The same symbol will be sold on one sleeve of Flight Club T-shirts commemorating the reopening. Los Angeles Times, 17 July 2022 And Sikh users will welcome the Khanda, the symbol of that religion’s faith. Chris Morris, Fortune, 13 July 2022 As part of her activism, Ms. Kim is the co-founder of an initiative with the designer Ravi Vasavan that promotes the use of a Deaf Power symbol, rendered as <0/. New York Times, 9 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The laser eyes symbol that Saylor incorporated into his profile picture started in online Bitcoin communities but has spread to the mainstream. Fortune, 13 June 2022 Press and hold the app icon, tap App Info (the i symbol), and tap Permissions. Julian Chokkattu, Wired, 8 Sep. 2020 The Unicode Consortium—the organization in charge of determining which symbols our devices are supposed to recognize—has more and more been measuring the wrong thing in the process of approving new emoji. Wired, 8 Nov. 2019 Drawing route cards and placing trains remains the same, but most tracks on the board that connect two cities also have one or more railroad company symbols next to them. Keith Law, Ars Technica, 12 Oct. 2019 To me that demonstrated the central role that symbols play in the culture. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, 16 Mar. 2017 See More

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.

First Known Use of symbol

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1832, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for symbol

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for symbol

Time Traveler

The first known use of symbol was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near symbol

symbiotism

symbol

symbolgram

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Statistics for symbol

Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Symbol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/symbol. Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for symbol

symbol

noun
sym·​bol | \ ˈsim-bəl How to pronounce symbol (audio) \

Kids Definition of symbol

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.

symbol

noun
sym·​bol | \ ˈsim-bəl How to pronounce symbol (audio) \

Medical Definition of symbol

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

Other Words from symbol

symbolic \ sim-​ˈbäl-​ik How to pronounce symbol (audio) \ adjective
symbolically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce symbol (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on symbol

Nglish: Translation of symbol for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of symbol for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about symbol

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