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From French symbolique or directly from Latin symbolicus, from Ancient Greek συμβολικός (sumbolikós, of or belonging to a symbol).


  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: sym‧bo‧lic
  • Rhymes: -ɒlɪk


symbolic (comparative more symbolic, superlative most symbolic)

  1. Pertaining to a symbol.
    • 2013 June 28, Joris Luyendijk, “Our banks are out of control”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 3, page 21:
      Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic […].  Until 2008 there was denial over what finance had become. When a series of bank failures made this impossible, there was widespread anger, leading to the public humiliation of symbolic figures.
  2. Implicitly representing or referring to another thing.
    a symbolic gesture

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