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 If Thanos is destruction in our emerging global symbology, Pepe the Frog’s visual meaning is something like sad resistance. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "Pepe the Frog Means Something Different in Hong Kong—Right?," 23 Aug. 2019 Fabrics and the symbology of the dress are repeated themes. Darryl Ratcliff, Dallas News, "Latina artists in Dallas showcase 'were told ‘no,’ and they triumphed anyway’," 25 July 2019 In addition to the timeline and symbology being off, the characterization is patchy. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Midsommar Is a Nightmare in Broad Daylight," 5 July 2019 The Aryan Brotherhood is a prison gang formed in the 1960s that is nearly all-white and uses racist symbology, like swastikas. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "California gang leaders’ prison cell phones reveal secrets that stayed in the dark for years," 3 July 2019 For instance, auditors are recommending that Facebook expand its recent policy against white nationalism to include implicit mentions, such as symbology and other coded language. Tonya Riley, Washington Post, "The Technology 202: 2020 Democratic candidates race to snap up digital talent," 1 July 2019 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

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.

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First Known Use of symbology

1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for symbology

symbol + -logy

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Time Traveler for symbology

Time Traveler

The first known use of symbology was in 1840

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Cite this Entry

“Symbology.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with symbology

Comments on symbology

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not to be intimidated or subdued

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