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or (especially British) symbolise

[sim-buh-lahyz] /ˈsɪm bəˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), symbolized, symbolizing.
to be a symbol of; stand for or represent in the manner of a symbol.
to represent by a symbol or symbols.
to regard or treat as symbolic.
verb (used without object), symbolized, symbolizing.
to use symbols.
Origin of symbolize
1580-90; < New Latin symbolizāre. See symbol, -ize
Related forms
resymbolize, verb, resymbolized, resymbolizing.
unsymbolized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for symbolizes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Do we not still remember that the name of "Munich" symbolizes a vain hope of appeasing dictators?

    The Communist Threat in the Taiwan Area John Foster Dulles and Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • She cannot work the problem for thinking of what it symbolizes.

    Bonaventure George Washington Cable
  • You are not only the one who symbolizes the destruction of humanity, but also the one who symbolizes the rebirth of humanity.

    The Revolutions of Time Jonathan Dunn
  • However, to dwell on the housetop is an expression which symbolizes desolation.

    The Syrian Christ Abraham Mitrie Rihbany
  • The principal relief on the side of the pedestal facing the river, symbolizes the ‘Wacht am Rhein.’

British Dictionary definitions for symbolizes


(transitive) to serve as or be a symbol of
(transitive) usually foll by by. to represent by a symbol or symbols
(intransitive) to use symbols
(transitive) to treat or regard as symbolic or figurative
Derived Forms
symbolization, symbolisation, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for symbolizes



c.1600, "to represent by a symbol," also "to be a symbol of," from French symboliser, from Modern Latin symbolizare, from symbolum (see symbol). Related: Symbolized; symbolizes; symbolizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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