American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To serve as a symbol of: "Munich, the 1938 Hitler-Chamberlain meeting that now symbolizes the idea of appeasement” ( Jonathan Alter).
- v. To represent or identify by a symbol.
- v. To use symbols.
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.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To have a resemblance of qualities or properties; to correspond; to harmonize.
- v. rare To hold the same faith; to agree.
- v. To use symbols; to represent ideas symbolically.
- v. To make to agree in properties or qualities.
- v. To make representative of something; to regard or treat as symbolic.
- v. To represent by a symbol or symbols.
- v. express indirectly by an image, form, or model; be a symbol
- v. represent or identify by using a symbol; use symbols
- From Middle French symboliser (Wiktionary)
“Neither glamorous enough to be New York nor glitzy enough to be Los Angeles, what San Antonio has come to symbolize is a basketball team that has never needed a marquee or spotlight to prosper.”
“If it does, I fear greatly for the future of my country, for the new Republican party that Bush appears to symbolize is a toxic combination of plutocracy, intolerance, and foreign misadventure.”
“Eggs symbolize fertility, and the Chinese word for shrimp sounds like the word for laughter and smile, which is great for a relationship," said Ming Tsai.”
“At a deeper level, however, the books are very different, and their titles symbolize the difference.”
“These days, gold-wrapped chocolate coins symbolize wealth.”
“European terms "colony," "dependence" and "empire," and the theory which these terms symbolize, have been true to the American System.”
“His Kenyan father, early schooling in Indonesia, race and name symbolize for many a unique internationalist presidential profile, one that contrasts sharply with his predecessor.”
“They've done a lot of what Obama would "symbolize".”
“One of my pet peeves is the reckless and indiscriminate misuse of "symbolize": "Titus symbolizes a man bent on revenge.”
“GROSS: Was he self-conscious about how much his family and the "Ozzy and Harriet" show had come to kind of symbolize, like, suburban middle-class life in the 1950s?”
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