sym·​bol·​o·​gy | \ sim-ˈbä-lə-jē How to pronounce symbology (audio) \
plural symbologies

Definition of symbology

1 : the art of expression by symbols
2 : the study or interpretation of symbols
3 : a system of symbols

Examples of symbology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

From the markings on tanks to the classification of aircraft, the armed services use a lot of symbology and abbreviated text to quickly convey information. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Military’s Cryptic Letters, Numbers, and Symbols, Explained," 6 Dec. 2018 And the history of their relationship with giants—and the symbology underlying each—is quite complex. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "For Hundreds of Years, Papier-Mâché Has Lent a Surreal Face to Catalan Culture," 3 July 2018 Perhaps Macron sees the gesture as a way to soften Trump up by playing to his love of military symbology. Heather Hurlburt, Daily Intelligencer, "Europe Reveals Its Latest Strategy for Managing Trump," 24 Apr. 2018 The sale includes commemorative jewelry, urns, ornaments and more featuring Irish and Celtic symbology. Leada Gore,, "St. Patrick's Day 2018: Best deals, discounts, freebies to celebrate all things Irish," 16 Mar. 2018 These pieces are subtle and empowering works of art incorporating trans symbology. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Catbird Teams Up with Amazon’s Transparent on Jewelry Inspired by The Transgender Rights Movement," 22 Sep. 2017 In its film adaptation, Tom Hanks plays Robert Langdon, a professor of symbology at Harvard, who is a prime suspect for a mysterious murder at the Louvre museum. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Movies & TV to Watch on Netflix in December," 1 Dec. 2015 The sonnenrad — or sunwheel — was popular in the traditional symbology of Old Norse and Celtic cultures, according to the ADL. Washington Post, "Deconstructing the symbols and slogans spotted in Charlottesville," 18 Aug. 2017 My map did not require complex symbology or fancy fonts. James Depasquale, Alaska Dispatch News, "A new Mat-Su map shows a special, hidden place," 11 Aug. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of symbology

1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for symbology

symbol + -logy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about symbology

Statistics for symbology

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for symbology

The first known use of symbology was in 1840

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on symbology

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with symbology

Comments on symbology

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


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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