follow Dictionary.com

Know these essential literary terms?

symbolist

[sim-buh-list] /ˈsɪm bə lɪst/
noun
1.
a person who uses symbols or symbolism.
2.
a person versed in the study or interpretation of symbols.
3.
Literature.
  1. a writer who seeks to express or evoke emotions, ideas, etc., by stressing the symbolic value of language, to which is ascribed a capacity for communicating otherwise inexpressible visions of reality.
  2. (usually initial capital letter) a member of a group of chiefly French and Belgian poets of the latter part of the 19th century who sought to evoke aesthetic emotions by emphasizing the associative character of verbal, often private, images or by using synesthetic devices, as vowel sounds, presumably evocative of color.
4.
Fine Arts.
  1. an artist who seeks to symbolize or suggest ideas or emotions by the objects represented, the colors used, etc.
  2. (usually initial capital letter) a member of a group of late 19th-century artists who rejected realism and sought to express subjective visions rather than objective reality through the use of evocative images.
5.
(often initial capital letter) Ecclesiastical. a person who rejects the doctrine of transubstantiation and views the Eucharist symbolically.
6.
a person who favors the use of symbols in religious services.
adjective
7.
of or pertaining to symbolists or symbolism.
Origin
1575-1585
1575-85; symbol + -ist
Related forms
symbolistic, adjective
symbolistically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for symbolistic

symbolist

/ˈsɪmbəlɪst/
noun
1.
a person who uses or can interpret symbols, esp as a means to revealing aspects of truth and reality
2.
an artist or writer who practises symbolism in his work
3.
(usually capital) a writer associated with the symbolist movement
4.
(often capital) an artist associated with the movement of symbolism
5.
(Christian theol) a person who rejects any interpretation of the Eucharist that suggests that Christ is really present in it, and who maintains that the bread and wine are only symbols of his body and blood
adjective
6.
of, relating to, or characterizing symbolism or symbolists
Derived Forms
symbolistic, adjective
symbolistically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for symbolist

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for symbolistic

20
0
Scrabble Words With Friends