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[sim-poh-zee-uh m] /sɪmˈpoʊ zi əm/
noun, plural symposiums, symposia
[sim-poh-zee-uh] /sɪmˈpoʊ zi ə/ (Show IPA)
a meeting or conference for the discussion of some subject, especially a meeting at which several speakers talk on or discuss a topic before an audience.
a collection of opinions expressed or articles contributed by several persons on a given subject or topic.
an account of a discussion meeting or of the conversation at it.
(in ancient Greece and Rome) a convivial meeting, usually following a dinner, for drinking and intellectual conversation.
(initial capital letter, italics) a philosophical dialogue (4th century b.c.) by Plato, dealing with ideal love and the vision of absolute beauty.
1580-90; < Latin < Greek sympósion drinking party, equivalent to sym- sym- + po- (variant stem of pī́nein to drink) + -sion noun suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for symposia
  • Music and dance performances as well as films and symposia complement the exhibits.
  • In fact, he taught it to his students and shared it at symposia with other doctors from around the world.
  • At technology conferences and university symposia, a standard list of expected social effects emerged.
  • These annual symposia always are great for midwinter fantasizing, deep on lush pictures of fabulous gardens at lavish estates.
  • One way to tell if a subject is compelling is to note how many people attend seminars or symposia on different research topics.
  • Nor is all learning neatly defined by curricula, symposia, syllabi or textbook discipline.
  • Others are part of one-day symposia, often organized by the graduate students of a given department.
  • Around us swirled academics, on their way to symposia about everything from welfare reform to suburban sprawl.
British Dictionary definitions for symposia


noun (pl) -siums, -sia (-zɪə)
a conference or meeting for the discussion of some subject, esp an academic topic or social problem
a collection of scholarly contributions, usually published together, on a given subject
(in classical Greece) a drinking party with intellectual conversation, music, etc
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek sumposion, from sumpinein to drink together, from sum-syn- + pinein to drink
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 symposia



1580s, "account of a gathering or party," from Latin symposium "drinking party, symposium," from Greek symposion "convivial gathering of the educated" (related to sympotes "drinking companion"), from syn- "together" (see syn-) + posis "a drinking," from a stem of Aeolic ponen "to drink," cognate with Latin potare "to drink" (see potion). The sense of "meeting on some subject" is from 1784. Reflecting the Greek fondness for mixing wine and intellectual discussion, the modern sense is especially from the word being used as a title for one of Plato's dialogues. Greek plural is symposia, and the leader of one is a symposiarch (c.1600 in English).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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