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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for symbolizing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • symbolizing disgust, the anti-fetich paralyzes the sexual appetite and love.

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

  • Thus it is that characters in comedy, symbolizing as they often do some social folly, tend to be rather types than personalities.

    John Lyly John Dover Wilson
  • Whence, then, came the illusion that symbolizing of the idea was a novelty?

    The Book of Masks Remy de Gourmont
  • His long, straight lower jaw protruded slightly, symbolizing his tenacity, his lust for power.

    The Martian Cabal Roman Frederick Starzl
  • We see the wheel of Ezekiel symbolizing the whole scheme and fabric of Nature.

    Ghosts I Have Seen Violet Tweedale
  • Action only to give reader the tone, symbolizing the tone of the people.

    Instigations Ezra Pound
  • I have alluded to his symbolizing the wish-fulfilment of the inarticulate, and the inarticulate are many.

    Behind the Mirrors Clinton W. Gilbert
  • The card shows a young man between two females, symbolizing virtue and vice.

    Prophetical, Educational and Playing Cards Mrs. John King Van Rensselaer
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
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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
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