2. [syn: symbol, symbolization, symbolisation, symbolic representation]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Symbol \Sym"bol\ (s[i^]m"b[o^]l), n. [L. symbolus, symbolum, Gr.
sy`mbolon a sign by which one knows or infers a thing, from
symba`llein to throw or put together, to compare; sy`n with +
ba`llein 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.
2. (Math.) Any character used to represent a quantity, an
operation, a relation, or an abbreviation.
Note: 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.
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.
Note: 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.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Symbol \Sym"bol\, v. t.
To symbolize. [R.] --Tennyson.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a
2: something visible that by association or convention
represents something else that is invisible; "the eagle is a
symbol of the United States" [syn: symbol, symbolization,
symbolisation, symbolic representation]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
272 Moby Thesaurus words for "symbol":
abbreviation, accent, accent mark, acronym, agent, allegory,
alphabet, alphabetic character, alternate, alternative, analogy,
armory, arms, art, attribute, backup, badge, badge of office,
badges, banner, bar, baton, bearing, binary digit, bit, blazonry,
blueprint, brand, brassard, button, cancel, cap and gown, case,
case in point, chain, chain of office, change, changeling,
character, charactering, characterization, charactery, chart,
choreography, cipher, class ring, coat of arms, cockade, code,
collar, colophon, comparison, conventional representation,
conventional symbol, copy, counterfeit, crest, cross, cryptogram,
custos, dance notation, decoration, delineation, demonstration,
depiction, depictment, deputy, design, device, diagram, digit,
direct, dot, double, drama, drawing, dress, dummy, eagle, emblem,
emblems, ensigns, equal, equivalent, ersatz, escutcheon, example,
exchange, exemplar, exemplification, explanation, exponent,
expression mark, fake, fasces, father symbol, fermata,
fertility symbol, figuration, figure, figurehead, fill-in, flag,
fleur-de-lis, ghost, ghostwriter, glosseme, graph, grapheme,
hammer and sickle, heraldry, hieroglyphic, hold, icon, iconography,
iconology, ideogram, illustration, image, imagery, imaging,
imitation, indication, initialism, insignia, instance,
key signature, lapel pin, lead, letter, lexeme, lexical form,
lexigraphic character, ligature, limning, livery, locum tenens,
logo, logogram, logograph, logotype, love knot, mace, makeshift,
mantle, map, mark, markings, measure, medal, metaphor, metonymy,
metronomic mark, monogram, morpheme, mortarboard, mother symbol,
motif, musical notation, next best thing, notation, note, number,
numeral, numero, object lesson, old school tie, password, pattern,
pause, pennant, personnel, phallic symbol, phonetic character,
phonetic symbol, phony, phrase, pictogram, pictographic character,
picturization, pin, pinch hitter, plan, portraiture, portrayal,
prefigurement, presa, presentment, printing, projection, proxy,
realization, regalia, relevant instance, relief, rendering,
rendition, replacement, representation, representative, reserves,
ring, ringer, rose, schema, school ring, score, script,
second string, secondary, segno, semasiological unit, sememe,
shamrock, shibboleth, sigillography, sign, signature, signifiant,
significant, skull and crossbones, slur, spares, sphragistics,
staff, stamp, stand-in, standard, sub, substituent, substitute,
substitution, succedaneum, superseder, supplanter, surrogate,
swastika, swell, syllabary, syllabic, symbolic system, symbolism,
symbolization, symbology, synecdoche, tablature, tartan,
tempo mark, term, third string, thistle, tie, time signature,
token, totem, totem pole, type, typical example, understudy,
uniform, universal symbol, utility player, verge, vicar,
vice-president, vice-regent, vinculum, wand, watchword, word,
writing, written character
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
SYMBOL. A sign; a token; a representation of one thing by another.
2. A symbolical delivery is equivalent, in many cases, in its legal
effects, to actual delivery; as, for example, the delivery of the keys of a
warehouse in which goods are deposited, is a delivery sufficient to transfer
the property. 1 Atk. 171; 5 John. 335; 2 T. R. 462; 7 T. R. 71; 2 Campb.
243; 1 East, R. 194; 3 Caines, 182; 1 Esp. 598; 3 B. & C. 423.
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
SYMBOL, n. Something that is supposed to typify or stand for
something else. Many symbols are mere "survivals" -- things which
having no longer any utility continue to exist because we have
inherited the tendency to make them; as funereal urns carved on
memorial monuments. They were once real urns holding the ashes of the
dead. We cannot stop making them, but we can give them a name that
conceals our helplessness.