Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To serve as a symbol of.
  • intransitive verb To represent or identify by a symbol.
  • intransitive verb To use symbols.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To be symbolic of; to represent.

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

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

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French symboliser

Examples

  • 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.

    USATODAY.com - Spurs defeat Pistons 81-74 to win third NBA title since 1999

  • 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.

    Balkinization

  • "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.

    The Seattle Times

  • "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.

    The Seattle Times

  • "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.

    The Seattle Times

  • "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.

    The Seattle Times

  • These days, gold-wrapped chocolate coins symbolize wealth.

    HAPPY YEAR OF THE RAT!

  • These days, gold-wrapped chocolate coins symbolize wealth.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • At a deeper level, however, the books are very different, and their titles symbolize the difference.

    Cambodia Book Reviews: Chanrithy Him and Loung Ung

  • European terms "colony," "dependence" and "empire," and the theory which these terms symbolize, have been true to the American System.

    "Colony,"--or "Free State"? "Dependence,"--or "Just Connection"? "Empire,"--or "Union"?

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