symposium

noun sym·po·sium \ sim-ˈpō-zē-əm also -zh(ē-)əm \

Definition of symposium

plural symposia play \-zē-ə, -zh(ē-)ə\ or symposiums
1 a :a convivial party (as after a banquet in ancient Greece) with music and conversation
b :a social gathering at which there is free interchange of ideas
2 a :a formal meeting at which several specialists deliver short addresses on a topic or on related topics — compare colloquium
b :a collection of opinions on a subject; especially :one published by a periodical

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Examples of symposium in a Sentence

  1. Professors and graduate students attended the symposium.

  2. recently attended a daylong symposium on new methods of chromatography

Recent Examples of symposium from the Web

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

Did You Know?

It was drinking more than thinking that drew people to the original symposia and that gave us the word symposium. The ancient Greeks would often follow a banquet with a drinking party they called a "symposion." That name came from "sympinein," a verb that combines pinein, meaning "to drink," with the prefix syn-, meaning "together." Originally, English speakers only used "symposium" to refer to such an ancient Greek party, but in the 18th century British gentlemen's clubs started using the word for gatherings in which intellectual conversation was fueled by drinking. By the 19th century, "symposium" had gained the more sober sense we know today, describing meetings in which the focus is more on the exchange of ideas and less on imbibing.

Origin and Etymology of symposium

Latin, from Greek symposion, from sympinein to drink together, from syn- + pinein to drink — more at potable


SYMPOSIUM Defined for English Language Learners

symposium

noun

Definition of symposium for English Language Learners

  • : a formal meeting at which experts discuss a particular topic

  • : a collection of articles on a particular subject



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