symbol

noun
sym·bol | \ˈsim-bəl \

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)

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Synonyms for symbol

Synonyms: Noun

emblem, ensign, hallmark, logo, totem, trademark

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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

For Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of his great symbols and a unique reference for the next generations. SI.com, "Real Madrid Confirm Cristiano Ronaldo Will Join Juventus After Requesting to Leave Santiago Bernabeu," 10 July 2018 Juul’s vaporizers, introduced in 2015, have become a teen status symbol and a growing problem in U.S. schools. Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, "Juul Raises $650 Million in Funding That Values E-Cig Startup at $15 Billion," 10 July 2018 For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of his great symbols and a unique reference for the next generations. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Cristiano Ronaldo set to join Juventus from Real Madrid," 10 July 2018 One of the pages contained swastikas and other symbols, while another appeared to be a mock press release about a bombing. Vinny Vella, Philly.com, "Bucks DA: 'Great policework' nabs chemical-company owner accused of building bombs," 28 June 2018 Optics are important to countries, and Muslim women, their relative visibility and invisibility, have long been a realm of strategic wrangling, with meanings and symbols of domination attached to either. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "Driving Toward Change," 23 June 2018 Data poisoning Abusers don’t just have to change their own behavior—by substituting different characters for letters or using words or symbols in coded ways. Daniel Lowd, Scientific American, "Can Facebook Use AI to Fight Online Abuse?," 13 June 2018 This issue of what to do with Confederate names and symbols continues to be played out in Texas communities. Diane Smith, star-telegram, "Tyler students push for name change of Robert E. Lee High School," 12 June 2018 Since then, more than 100 monuments and symbols have been removed from 22 states and the District of Columbia. Doug Criss And Elizabeth Elkin, CNN, "The state leading the way in removing Confederate monuments? Texas," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To me that demonstrated the central role that symbols play in the culture. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "Why Americans Flocked to Catch a Glimpse of Hitler’s Car," 16 Mar. 2017

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.

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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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Phrases Related to symbol

status symbol

Statistics for symbol

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for symbol

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

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More Definitions for symbol

symbol

noun

English Language Learners Definition of symbol

: an action, object, event, etc., that expresses or represents a particular idea or quality

: a letter, group of letters, character, or picture that is used instead of a word or group of words

symbol

noun
sym·bol | \ˈsim-bəl \

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 \

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 \ adjective
symbolically \-i-k(ə-)lē \ adverb

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Comments on symbol

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