View synonyms for symbolize


[ sim-buh-lahyz ]

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.

verb (used without object)

, sym·bol·ized, sym·bol·iz·ing.
  1. to use symbols.


/ ˈsɪmbəˌlaɪz /


  1. tr to serve as or be a symbol of
  2. trusually foll byby 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 Forms

  • ˌsymboliˈzation, noun

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Other Words From

  • re·symbol·ize verb resymbolized resymbolizing
  • un·symbol·ized adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of symbolize1

From the New Latin word symbolizāre, dating back to 1580–90. See symbol, -ize

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Example Sentences

The fight to force Justice’s empire to follow pollution rules, the groups say, symbolizes the larger ongoing fight over how aggressively to regulate an industry that remains politically powerful, even as its economic influence declines.

Yet rather than symbolize how polluted our environment is, the Cuyahoga has become a poster child for the EPA’s success.

It symbolizes changing the nature of what a cat is in order to better suit your purposes.

It used to symbolize a time when women were confined to housework.

From Fortune

So the mushroom cloud that resulted symbolizes one of science’s most disturbing successes.

But for some teens ISIS seems to symbolize power and purpose, a great drama promising deliverance from the humdrum.

So it was something that would symbolize some tranquility, peace—anything that would give it a good energy.

She seems, if anything, to symbolize an even more incremental progressivism than President Obama.

The practice, which emerged during the eighth century, was meant to symbolize wealth and class.

Colorful inflated onion domes appeared to symbolize the birth of urbanization.

The wall showed no further trace of damp, and the new chauffeur's bent back seemed to symbolize an extreme conscientiousness.

A silence fell upon the room, a silence that seemed to symbolize the "biffing" of the doctor's son by old French.

It has also been held to symbolize light or the god of light, of the forked lightning, and of water.

It was in the form of a scythe to symbolize Time, the pendulum being a bunch of arrows to suggest the flight of the minutes.

He instructed him to take a long stick, to one end of which he must secure a sharp point, to symbolize the bear's tusks.


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