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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle French symboliser.


  • IPA(key): /ˈsɪmbəlaɪz/
  • (file)


symbolize (third-person singular simple present symbolizes, present participle symbolizing, simple past and past participle symbolized)

  1. (transitive) To be symbolic of; to represent.
    • 2006, Edwin Black, chapter 2, in Internal Combustion[1]:
      The popular late Middle Ages fictional character Robin Hood, dressed in green to symbolize the forest, dodged fines for forest offenses and stole from the rich to give to the poor. But his appeal was painfully real and embodied the struggle over wood.
  2. (intransitive) To use symbols; to represent ideas symbolically.
  3. (intransitive, obsolete) To resemble each other in qualities or properties; to correspond; to harmonize.
  4. (intransitive, obsolete) To hold the same faith; to agree.
    • 1824, George Stanley Faber, The Difficulties of Infidelity:
      The believers in pretended miracles have always previously symbolized with the performers of them.


Derived terms[edit]