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symbolize

[sim-buh-lahyz]
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verb (used with object), sym·bol·ized, sym·bol·iz·ing.
  1. to be a symbol of; stand for or represent in the manner of a symbol.
  2. to represent by a symbol or symbols.
  3. to regard or treat as symbolic.
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verb (used without object), sym·bol·ized, sym·bol·iz·ing.
  1. to use symbols.
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Also especially British, sym·bol·ise.

Origin of symbolize

From the New Latin word symbolizāre, dating back to 1580–90. See symbol, -ize
Related formsre·sym·bol·ize, verb, re·sym·bol·ized, re·sym·bol·iz·ing.un·sym·bol·ized, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for symbolise

Historical Examples

  • The practice may symbolise the fertilising influence of rain.

    The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India

    R. V. Russell

  • To symbolise them, they were as a sword-blade lying beside book.

  • Page xii, "symbolize" changed to "symbolise" for consistency.

    Musical Criticisms

    Arthur Johnstone

  • The enamel round the ring is black, to symbolise the constancy of her who sends it.

  • What it symbolised, if symbolise anything it did, we know not.

    Evolution in Art

    Alfred C. Haddon


British Dictionary definitions for symbolise

symbolize

symbolise

verb
  1. (tr) to serve as or be a symbol of
  2. (tr usually foll by by) to represent by a symbol or symbols
  3. (intr) to use symbols
  4. (tr) to treat or regard as symbolic or figurative
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Derived Formssymbolization or symbolisation, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for symbolise

symbolize

v.

c.1600, "to represent by a symbol," also "to be a symbol of," from French symboliser, from Modern Latin symbolizare, from symbolum (see symbol). Related: Symbolized; symbolizes; symbolizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper