1 something that represents or stands for something else, usually by convention or association, esp. a material object used to represent something abstract
2 an object, person, idea, etc., used in a literary work, film, etc., to stand for or suggest something else with which it is associated either explicitly or in some more subtle way
3 a letter, figure, or sign used in mathematics, science, music, etc. to represent a quantity, phenomenon, operation, function, etc.
4 (Psychoanal) the end product, in the form of an object or act, of a conflict in the unconscious between repression processes and the actions and thoughts being repressed
the symbols of dreams
5 (Psychol) any mental process that represents some feature of external reality
vb , -bols, -bolling, -bolled
(U.S.) , -bols, -boling, -boled
6 tr another word for →
symbolize (C15: from Church Latin symbolum, from Greek sumbolon sign, from sumballein to throw together, from syn- + ballein to throw)
n (Music) any of a series of letters and numerals, used as a shorthand indication of chords, esp. in jazz, folk, or pop music
B7 indicates the dominant seventh chord in the key of E
n an object, esp. a phallic symbol, used in fertility-cult ceremonies to symbolize regeneration
n a possession which is regarded as proof of the owner's social position, wealth, prestige, etc.
n any member of a voluntary group of independent retailers, often using a common name or symbol, formed to obtain better prices from wholesalers or manufacturers in competition with supermarket chains, (Also called)