Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To serve as a symbol of: "Munich, the 1938 Hitler-Chamberlain meeting that now symbolizes the idea of appeasement” ( Jonathan Alter).
  • transitive v. To represent or identify by a symbol.
  • intransitive v. To use symbols.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To be symbolic of; to represent.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To have a resemblance of qualities or properties; to correspond; to harmonize.
  • intransitive v. To hold the same faith; to agree.
  • intransitive v. To use symbols; to represent ideas symbolically.
  • transitive v. To make to agree in properties or qualities.
  • transitive v. To make representative of something; to regard or treat as symbolic.
  • transitive v. To represent by a symbol or symbols.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To represent by symbols.
  • To regard, treat, or introduce as symbolic; make emblematic of something.
  • To make to agree in properties.
  • To express or represent in symbols or symbolically.
  • To agree; conform; harmonize; be or become alike in qualities or properties, in doctrine, or the like.
  • Also spelled symbolise.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. express indirectly by an image, form, or model; be a symbol
  • v. represent or identify by using a symbol; use symbols

Etymologies

From Middle French symboliser (Wiktionary)

Examples

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