Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[sim-buh-lahyz] /ˈsɪm bəˌlaɪz/
verb (used with object), symbolized, symbolizing.
to be a symbol of; stand for or represent in the manner of a symbol.
to represent by a symbol or symbols.
to regard or treat as symbolic.
verb (used without object), symbolized, symbolizing.
to use symbols.
Also, especially British, symbolise.
Origin of symbolize
From the New Latin word symbolizāre, dating back to 1580-90. See symbol, -ize
Related forms
resymbolize, verb, resymbolized, resymbolizing.
unsymbolized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for symbolizing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In China, he is often represented with a mace (symbolizing a thunderbolt) instead of a sword.

  • The scene may be interpreted as symbolizing the grief of a mother for a dead son.

  • Action only to give reader the tone, symbolizing the tone of the people.

    Instigations Ezra Pound
  • Whence, then, came the illusion that symbolizing of the idea was a novelty?

    The Book of Masks Remy de Gourmont
  • We see the wheel of Ezekiel symbolizing the whole scheme and fabric of Nature.

    Ghosts I Have Seen Violet Tweedale
  • I have alluded to his symbolizing the wish-fulfilment of the inarticulate, and the inarticulate are many.

    Behind the Mirrors Clinton W. Gilbert
  • Many flags waved throughout the war in the beams of search-lights, symbolizing a patriotism fully aroused.

    Artificial Light M. Luckiesh
  • They appear to emanate from a cloud resting upon the hour-glass, and may help the other emblems in symbolizing time and eternity.

    In Search Of Gravestones Old And Curious W.T. (William Thomas) Vincent
  • Surmounting the arch will be the chief group of the composition, symbolizing Woman Glorified.

British Dictionary definitions for symbolizing


(transitive) to serve as or be a symbol of
(transitive) usually foll by by. to represent by a symbol or symbols
(intransitive) to use symbols
(transitive) to treat or regard as symbolic or figurative
Derived Forms
symbolization, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for symbolizing



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for symbolizing

Word Value for symbolizing

Scrabble Words With Friends