[ sim-buh-lahyz ]
/ ˈsɪm bəˌlaɪz /

verb (used with object), sym·bol·ized, sym·bol·iz·ing.

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), sym·bol·ized, sym·bol·iz·ing.

to use symbols.
Also especially British, sym·bol·ise.

Origin of symbolize

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


re·sym·bol·ize, verb, re·sym·bol·ized, re·sym·bol·iz·ing.un·sym·bol·ized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for symbolize

British Dictionary definitions for symbolize



/ (ˈsɪmbəˌlaɪz) /


(tr) to serve as or be a symbol of
(tr usually foll by by) to represent by a symbol or symbols
(intr) to use symbols
(tr) to treat or regard as symbolic or figurative

Derived forms of symbolize

symbolization or 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