symbolism

play
noun sym·bol·ism \ˈsim-bə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of symbolism

  1. 1 :  the art or practice of using symbols especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations: such asa :  artistic imitation or invention that is a method of revealing or suggesting immaterial, ideal, or otherwise intangible truth or statesb :  the use of conventional or traditional signs in the representation of divine beings and spirits

  2. 2 :  a system of symbols or representations

Examples of symbolism in a Sentence

  1. The story was filled with religious symbolism.

Recent Examples of symbolism from the Web

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

First Known Use of symbolism

1654


SYMBOLISM Defined for English Language Learners

symbolism

play
noun

Definition of symbolism for English Language Learners

  • : the use of symbols to express or represent ideas or qualities in literature, art, etc.

  • : the particular idea or quality that is expressed by a symbol


SYMBOLISM Defined for Kids

symbolism

play
noun sym·bol·ism \ˈsim-bə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of symbolism for Students

  1. 1 :  the use of symbols to represent an idea or quality The story was filled with symbolism.

  2. 2 :  the meaning of a symbol What is the symbolism of the lion and lamb in this picture?


Medical Dictionary

symbolism

play
noun sym·bol·ism \ˈsim-bə-ˌliz-əm\

Medical Definition of symbolism

  1. :  the art or practice of using symbols especially by investing things with a symbolic meaning or by expressing the invisible or intangible by means of visible or sensuous representations



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to counsel, recommend, or inform

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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