sym·​bol·​ist | \ˈsim-bə-list \

Definition of symbolist 

1 : one who employs symbols or symbolism

2 : one skilled in the interpretation or explication of symbols

3 often capitalized : one of a group of writers and artists in France after 1880 reacting against realism, concerning themselves with general truths instead of actualities, exalting the metaphysical and the mysterious, and aiming to unify and blend the arts and the functions of the senses

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Other Words from symbolist

symbolist adjective

Examples of symbolist in a Sentence

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Konstantin, Irina’s son, is staging his first play, an ambitious symbolist work set unfathomably far in the future. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The First Great Film Adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull," 24 Apr. 2018 The description is fitting: front man Dan Bejar’s lyrics feel like symbolist poetry, with lines of varying lengths crammed with allusions to history, film, and—especially—pop music stacked on top of each other like records in a wobbling tower. Tal Rosenberg, Chicago Reader, "Destroyer’s Ken simplifies symbolism with similes and simpering," 12 Jan. 2018 Based on a fairy tale by Aleister Crowley, the colorful early 20th-century British poet and magician, the opera’s story follows some of the same themes as Bluebeard’s Castle, in the symbolist mode of Maeterlinck. Peter Dobrin,, "O17 hits the Barnes with a hallucinatory fairy tale," 19 Sep. 2017 New York painter Packer will display recent work, contemporary portraiture and still lifes that convey the watery warmth of symbolist art. Tal Rosenberg, Chicago Reader, "Ten best bets for fall visual arts," 15 Sep. 2017 The scientific advancements of the day also ushered in a golden age of belief in supernatural forces and energies, and symbolists, in turn, were heavily influenced by the occult and the dream world. Jackie Mansky, Smithsonian, "Did Edvard Munch Find a Supernatural Power in Color?," 11 Sep. 2017 Dylan had found his own voice in the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, French symbolists like Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud, and the rich and powerful music of Robert Johnson and Woody Guthrie. Jeff Slate, Esquire, "Why Bob Dylan Deserves His Nobel Prize," 13 Oct. 2016 The Collector’s fortress was inspired by gothic influences, art nouveau design and even Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, Rohde said. Brady Macdonald,, "How Disney fit a Guardians of the Galaxy space age power plant into a theme park," 26 May 2017 In the twilight years of nineteenth-century Paris, the Rosicrucian critic Joséphin Péladan organized a series of exhibitions, extending invitations to artists of a symbolist bent across Europe. Andrea K. Scott, The New Yorker, "Summer Art Preview," 22 May 2017

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

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First Known Use of symbolist

1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of symbolist was in 1812

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