a set or system of symbols.
symbolic meaning or character.
the principles and practice of symbolists in art or literature.
(initial capital letter) a movement of the late 19th century in French art and literature.: Compare symbolist (defs. 3b, 4b).
the use of any of certain special figures or marks of identification to signify a religious message or divine being, as the cross for Christ and the Christian faith.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use symbolism in a sentence
Beyond the practical importance of a caregiving czar, the position would also carry great symbolism.
It’s unclear what effect the resolution will have beyond symbolism, given that the Virginia Department of Health is charged with enforcing the mandates, not local officials.Rural Virginia county officials pass resolution rejecting ‘tyranny’ of governor’s coronavirus restrictions | Gregory S. Schneider | December 3, 2020 | Washington Post
Foods eaten around the new year are rife with symbolism and often served to visiting friends and family.These Chinese walnut cookies are buttery and crumbly, with a five-spice streusel filling | Hetty McKinnon | December 2, 2020 | Washington Post
To sweeten the symbolism, the oil and gas giant ExxonMobil had just been ejected from the Dow Jones index, marking the fossil fuel industry’s ignominious decline during the energy transition.Tesla’s bumpy road to today’s stratospheric stock price | Michael J. Coren | September 25, 2020 | Quartz
There’s such powerful symbolism behind the cowry that tremendously moved me.Lafalaise Dion Takes ESSENCE On A Personal Journey | Nandi Howard | September 4, 2020 | Essence.com
The fact that he was celebrating another loss for the star-crossed city of Detroit only enhances the symbolism.
But what he did was reasonably brave and freighted with all the symbolism of which he was well aware.Steve Scalise and the Right’s Ridiculous Racial Blame Game | Michael Tomasky | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
The exhibition also provides useful insight into the importance of symbolism, particularly when it comes to religious painting.
The move gets an “A” for symbolism and a “D” for everything else.Sony Blames North Korea for Hacking, but Washington Left Them Completely Vulnerable | Gordon G. Chang | December 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Some critics complained that his symbolism was obscure and was lost on the audience.
The rude symbolism was softened and toned to an almost poetical refinement, and gave to the harmless revels a touch of Arcady.When Valmond Came to Pontiac, Complete | Gilbert Parker
This origin, as I have elsewhere endeavoured to show, is due largely to symbolism, which is merely another term for metaphor.
The authorities superstitious “custom” and it is probable that in symbolism may also be found the origin of totemism.
symbolism was undeniably a primitive mode of thinging thought or expressing abstract ideas by things.
We shall deal more fully with the cult and symbolism of the dog in a future chapter entitled “The Hound of Heaven”.
British Dictionary definitions for symbolism
the representation of something in symbolic form or the attribution of symbolic meaning or character to something
a system of symbols or symbolic representation
a symbolic significance or quality
(often capital) a late 19th-century movement in art that sought to express mystical or abstract ideas through the symbolic use of images: See also synthetism
theol any symbolist interpretation of the Eucharist
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