- a writer who seeks to express or evoke emotions, ideas, etc., by stressing the symbolic value of language, to which is ascribed a capacity for communicating otherwise inexpressible visions of reality.
- (usually initial capital letter) a member of a group of chiefly French and Belgian poets of the latter part of the 19th century who sought to evoke aesthetic emotions by emphasizing the associative character of verbal, often private, images or by using synesthetic devices, as vowel sounds, presumably evocative of color.
- an artist who seeks to symbolize or suggest ideas or emotions by the objects represented, the colors used, etc.
- (usually initial capital letter) a member of a group of late 19th-century artists who rejected realism and sought to express subjective visions rather than objective reality through the use of evocative images.
Related formssym·bol·is·tic, adjectivesym·bol·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Examples from the Web for symbolist
Almqvist was a realist and symbolist who loved to throw out paradoxical bons-mots on current morals with a generous hand.August Strindberg, the Spirit of Revolt|L. (Lizzy) Lind-af-Hageby
It was dear to the Realist, and it is dear to the Symbolist.The Children|Alice Meynell
In the matter of conception and interpretation Mr. Carman is a symbolist.
Then comes the Symbolist, and says that to his soul, which alone is certain, man is a creature with green hair and a blue face.Twelve Types|G.K. Chesterton
Chesterton is convinced that Browning was a literary artist—that is to say, he was a symbolist.Gilbert Keith Chesterton|Patrick Braybrooke