Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of symbol
Meaning of symbol by Wiktionary Dictionary



    Symbols of various religions.
    1st Row: Christian Cross, Jewish Star of David, Hindu Aumkar
    2nd Row: Islamic Star and crescent, Buddhist Wheel of Dharma, Shinto Torii
    3rd Row: Sikh Khanda, Bahá'í star, Jain Ahimsa Symbol

    From French symbole, from Latin symbolus, symbolum ( “a sign, mark, token, symbol, in Late Latin also a creed” ), from Ancient Greek σύμβολον ( sumbolon, “a sign by which one infers something; a mark, token, badge, ticket, tally, check, a signal, watchword, outward sign” ), from συμβάλλω ( sumballō, “I throw together, dash together, compare, correspond, tally, come to a conclusion” ), from σύν ( sun, “with, together” ) + βάλλω ( ballō, “I throw, put” )


    • IPA: /sɪmbəɫ/
    • ( US ) X-SAMPA: /sIm.bVl/
    • Rhymes: -ɪmbəl
    • Homophone: cymbal


    symbol ( plural: symbols )

    1. A character or glyph representing an idea, concept or object .
      $ is the symbol for dollars in the US and some other countries .
      '#' is the octothorpe symbol .
      Chinese people use word symbols for writing .
    2. Any object, typically material, which is meant to represent another ( usually abstract ) even if there is no meaningful relationship .
      The dollar symbol has no relationship to the concept of currency or any related idea .
    3. ( linguistics ) A type of noun whereby the form refers to the same entity independently of the context; a symbol arbitrarily denotes a referent. See also icon and index .
    4. A summary of a dogmatic statement of faith .
      The Apostles, Nicene Creed and the confessional books of Protestantism, such as the Augsburg Confession of Lutheranism are considered symbols .
    5. Visible traces or impressions, made using a writing device or tool, that are connected together and/or are slightly separated. Sometimes symbols represent objects or events that occupy space or things that are not physical and do not occupy space .

    Derived terms

    See also

    External links

    • symbol in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • symbol in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Explanation of symbol by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible

    2. the eagle is a symbol of the United States
    3. an arbitrary sign ( written or printed ) that has acquired a conventional significance

    Definition of symbol by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Symbol ( sĭmbŏl ), n. [L. symbolus, symbolum, Gr. σύμβολον a sign by which one knows or infers a thing, from συμβάλλειν to throw or put together, to compare; σύν with + βάλλειν to throw: cf. F. symbole. Cf. Emblem, Parable.]
      1. A visible sign or representation of an idea; anything which suggests an idea or quality, or another thing, as by resemblance or by convention; an emblem; a representation; a type; a figure; as, “the lion is the symbol of courage; the lamb is the symbol of meekness or patience”.

      A symbol is a sign included in the idea which it represents, e. g., an actual part chosen to represent the whole, or a lower form or species used as the representative of a higher in the same kind. Coleridge.

      2. ( Math. ) Any character used to represent a quantity, an operation, a relation, or an abbreviation.

      ☞ In crystallography, the symbol of a plane is the numerical expression which defines its position relatively to the assumed axes.

      3. ( Theol. ) An abstract or compendium of faith or doctrine; a creed, or a summary of the articles of religion.

      4. [Gr. contributions.] That which is thrown into a common fund; hence, an appointed or accustomed duty. [Obs.]

      They do their work in the days of peace . . . and come to pay their symbol in a war or in a plague. Jer. Taylor.

      5. Share; allotment. [Obs.]

      The persons who are to be judged . . . shall all appear to receive their symbol. Jer. Taylor.

      6. ( Chem. ) An abbreviation standing for the name of an element and consisting of the initial letter of the Latin or New Latin name, or sometimes of the initial letter with a following one; as, “C for carbon, Na for sodium ( Natrium ), Fe for iron ( Ferrum ), Sn for tin ( Stannum ), Sb for antimony ( Stibium ), etc.” See the list of names and symbols under Element.

      ☞ In pure and organic chemistry there are symbols not only for the elements, but also for their grouping in formulas, radicals, or residues, as evidenced by their composition, reactions, synthesis, etc. See the diagram of Benzene nucleus, under Benzene.

      Syn. -- Emblem; figure; type. See Emblem.

    2. Symbol, v. t. To symbolize. [R.] Tennyson.