|1.||something that represents or stands for something else, usually by convention or association, esp a material object used to represent something abstract|
|2.||an object, person, idea, etc, used in a literary work, film, etc, to stand for or suggest something else with which it is associated either explicitly or in some more subtle way|
|3.||a letter, figure, or sign used in mathematics, science, music, etc to represent a quantity, phenomenon, operation, function, etc|
|4.||psychoanal the end product, in the form of an object or act, of a conflict in the unconscious between repression processes and the actions and thoughts being repressed: the symbols of dreams|
|5.||psychol any mental process that represents some feature of external reality|
|—vb , -bols, -bolling, -bolled, -bols, -boling, -boled|
|6.||(tr) another word for symbolize|
|[C15: from Church Latin symbolum, from Greek sumbolon sign, from sumballein to throw together, from |
symbol sym·bol (sĭm'bəl)
Something that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention, especially a material object used to represent something invisible.
A printed or written sign used to represent an operation, an element, a quantity, or a relation, as in mathematics or chemistry.
A conventional sign.
An object or name that stands for something else, especially a material thing that stands for something that is not material. The bald eagle is a symbol of the United States of America. The cross is a symbol of Christianity. The Star of David is a symbol of Judaism.
Something that represents or suggests something else. Symbols often take the form of words, visual images, or gestures that are used to convey ideas and beliefs. All human cultures use symbols to express the underlying structure of their social systems, to represent ideal cultural characteristics, such as beauty, and to ensure that the culture is passed on to new generations. Symbolic relationships are learned rather than biologically or naturally determined, and each culture has its own symbols.