Word Origin & History
1586, "account of a gathering or party," from L. symposium "drinking party, symposium," from Gk. symposion "convivial gathering of the educated" (related to sympotes "drinking companion"), from syn- "together" + posis "a drinking," from a stem of Aeolic ponen "to drink," cognate with L. potare "to drink."
The sense of "meeting on some subject" is from 1784. Reflecting the Gk. 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. Gk. plural is symposia, and the leader of one is a symposiarch (1603).