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
Related formsre·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 symbolizes

Contemporary Examples of symbolizes

Historical Examples of symbolizes

  • She cannot work the problem for thinking of what it symbolizes.


    George Washington Cable

  • And in the second place the Sabbath symbolizes the future world.

  • It is an idea that symbolizes the tendency of the human intellect to fabrication.

    Creative Evolution

    Henri Bergson

  • It symbolizes the real and transposes it into the human rather than expresses it.

    Creative Evolution

    Henri Bergson

  • It symbolizes the aspiration without which no man's faith can hold its own.

    Robert Falconer

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for symbolizes




(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 Formssymbolization 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

Word Origin and History for symbolizes



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