symbol

noun
sym·​bol | \ ˈsim-bəl How to pronounce symbol (audio) \

Definition of symbol

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an authoritative summary of faith or doctrine : creed
2 : something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance especially : a visible sign of something invisible the lion is a symbol of courage
3 : an arbitrary or conventional sign used in writing or printing relating to a particular field to represent operations, quantities, elements, relations, or qualities
4 : an object or act representing something in the unconscious mind that has been repressed phallic symbols
5 : an act, sound, or object having cultural significance and the capacity to excite or objectify a response

symbol

verb
symboled or symbolled; symboling or symbolling

Definition of symbol (Entry 2 of 2)

Synonyms for symbol

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of symbol in a Sentence

Noun the traditional physician's symbol of a staff entwined with a snake the symbol ¶ indicates where a new paragraph should begin
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While the Russian tricolor, alas, has become a symbol of that very evil. Stanislav Kucher, CNN, 13 May 2022 Dozens of parades and other events were held across the nation Sunday and Monday, all brandishing the letter Z, which has become a symbol of the invasion. Washington Post, 9 May 2022 In a sign of the effective defense that has sustained the conflict into its 11th week, Ukraine's military flattened Russian positions on a Black Sea island that was captured in the war's first days and has become a symbol of resistance. Arkansas Online, 8 May 2022 In a sign of the dogged resistance that has sustained the fighting into its 11th week, Ukraine’s military struck Russian positions on a Black Sea island that was captured in the war’s first days and has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. Elena Becatoros And Jon Gambrell, Anchorage Daily News, 8 May 2022 In a sign of the dogged resistance that has sustained the fighting into its 11th week, Ukraine’s military struck Russian positions on a Black Sea island that was captured in the war’s first days and has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance. Elena Becatoros And Jon Gambrell, Chicago Tribune, 8 May 2022 Red has become a symbol of the international Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s movement. Sarah Volpenhein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 May 2022 Correspondent Faith Salie tells the story of how the Lincoln Memorial – symbolically carved from stone from across the United States – would only later become a symbol of inclusion, and a powerful platform for the healing of racial divides. CBS News, 6 May 2022 Coat hangers have become a symbol of outdated, unsafe abortions performed before Roe v. Wade. Morgan Sung, NBC News, 5 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Press and hold the app icon, tap App Info (the i symbol), and tap Permissions. Julian Chokkattu, Wired, 8 Sep. 2020 The Unicode Consortium—the organization in charge of determining which symbols our devices are supposed to recognize—has more and more been measuring the wrong thing in the process of approving new emoji. Wired, 8 Nov. 2019 Drawing route cards and placing trains remains the same, but most tracks on the board that connect two cities also have one or more railroad company symbols next to them. Keith Law, Ars Technica, 12 Oct. 2019 To me that demonstrated the central role that symbols play in the culture. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, 16 Mar. 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of symbol

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1832, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for symbol

Noun

in sense 1, from Late Latin symbolum, from Late Greek symbolon, from Greek, token, sign; in other senses from Latin symbolum token, sign, symbol, from Greek symbolon, literally, token of identity verified by comparing its other half, from symballein to throw together, compare, from syn- + ballein to throw — more at devil

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Time Traveler for symbol

Time Traveler

The first known use of symbol was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near symbol

symbiotism

symbol

symbolgram

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Statistics for symbol

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Symbol.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/symbol. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for symbol

symbol

noun
sym·​bol | \ ˈsim-bəl How to pronounce symbol (audio) \

Kids Definition of symbol

1 : something that stands for something else : emblem The eagle is a symbol of the United States.
2 : a letter, character, or sign used instead of a word to represent a quantity, position, relationship, direction, or something to be done The sign + is the symbol for addition.

symbol

noun
sym·​bol | \ ˈsim-bəl How to pronounce symbol (audio) \

Medical Definition of symbol

: something that stands for or suggests something else: as
a : an arbitrary or conventional sign used in writing or printing relating to a particular field to represent operations, quantities, elements, relations, or qualities
b : an object or act representing something in the unconscious mind that has been repressed phallic symbols

Other Words from symbol

symbolic \ sim-​ˈbäl-​ik How to pronounce symbol (audio) \ adjective
symbolically \ -​i-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce symbol (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on symbol

Nglish: Translation of symbol for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of symbol for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about symbol

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