sym·​bol·​ist | \ ˈsim-bə-list How to pronounce symbolist (audio) \

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

Other Words from symbolist

symbolist adjective

Examples of symbolist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What distinguishes this tale, told in a comic vein, from the symbolist vein of the femme-fatale tale, is the carefree nature of the man’s leap. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 15 Nov. 2021 Among the artists included at both museums is Tyra Kleen, a symbolist painter of the same era. Andrew Ferren, New York Times, 21 Oct. 2019 Genteel Edwardian experimenters like Havelock Ellis and W.B. Yeats saw it as a pathway to the symbolist worlds of that period’s art. The Economist, 28 June 2019 In the 1890s, the women shared Gabriele d’Annunzio, the soldier, rogue, hedonist and symbolist poet. Rachel Shteir, WSJ, 23 Aug. 2018 Konstantin, Irina’s son, is staging his first play, an ambitious symbolist work set unfathomably far in the future. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, 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, 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,, 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, 15 Sep. 2017 See More

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.

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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Cite this Entry

“Symbolist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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