symbol

Definitions

  • Some bits and bridle ornaments in the Jamestown collection. The artistic designs on many bridle bosses are symbolic of beautiful handiwork performed by craftsmen of a bygone day
    Some bits and bridle ornaments in the Jamestown collection. The artistic designs on many bridle bosses are symbolic of beautiful handiwork performed by craftsmen of a bygone day
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n symbol something visible that by association or convention represents something else that is invisible "the eagle is a symbol of the United States"
    • n symbol an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first domain name ever registered was Symbolics.com
    • Symbol A visible sign or representation of an idea; anything which suggests an idea or quality, or another thing, as by resemblance or by convention; an emblem; a representation; a type; a figure; as, the lion is the symbol of courage; the lamb is the symbol of meekness or patience. "A symbol is a sign included in the idea which it represents, e. g., an actual part chosen to represent the whole, or a lower form or species used as the representative of a higher in the same kind."
    • Symbol (Chem) An abbreviation standing for the name of an element and consisting of the initial letter of the Latin or New Latin name, or sometimes of the initial letter with a following one; as, C for carbon, Na for sodium (Natrium), Fe for iron (Ferrum), Sn for tin (Stannum), Sb for antimony (Stibium), etc. See the list of names and symbols under Element.
    • Symbol (Theol) An abstract or compendium of faith or doctrine; a creed, or a summary of the articles of religion.
    • Symbol (Math) Any character used to represent a quantity, an operation, a relation, or an abbreviation.
    • Symbol Share; allotment. "The persons who are to be judged . . . shall all appear to receive their symbol ."
    • Symbol That which is thrown into a common fund; hence, an appointed or accustomed duty. "They do their work in the days of peace . . . and come to pay their symbol in a war or in a plague."
    • v. t Symbol To symbolize.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Rice is thrown at weddings as a symbol of fertility
    • n symbol An object, animate or inanimate, standing for or representing something moral or intellectual; anything which typifies an idea or a quality; a representation; a figure; an emblem; a type: as, the lion is the symbol of courage, the lamb of meekness or patience, the olive-branch of peace, and the scepter of power.
    • n symbol A letter or character which is significant; a mark which stands for something; a sign, as the letters and marks representing objects, elements, or operations in chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, etc. For various kinds of symbols or signs, see notation, proof-reading, sign, and weather. In addition to the signs of the zodiac (see sign), the principal astronomical symbols are the following: ☉, Sun; ☿, Mercury; ♀ , Venus; ♁, ⊖, or ⊕, Earth; ☽, Moon; ♂, Mars; ♃, Jupiter; ♄, Saturn; or , Uranus; ♆, Neptune; , ascending node; , descending node; , conjunction; , opposition. A planetoid or asteroid is generally indicated by inclosing in a small circle the number which distinguishes it as noting the order of its discovery.
    • n symbol That which specially distinguishes one regarded in a particular character or as occupying a particular office; an object or a figure typifying an individuality; an attribute: as, a trident is the symbol of Neptune, the peacock of Juno, a mirror or an apple of Venus.
    • n symbol In theology, a summary of religious doctrine accepted as an authoritative and official statement of the belief of the Christian church or of one of its denominations; a Christian creed.
    • n symbol In mathematics, an algebraical sign of any object or operation. See notation, 2.
    • n symbol In numismatics, a small device in the field of a coin. Such devices—for example, a lyre, a wine-cup, or an ivy-wreath—chiefly occur on Greek coins, where they are often the mark or signet of the monetary magistrate responsible for the issue of the coin. As a rule, the symbol bears no reference to the type, or principal device, of the coin.
    • symbol To symbolize.
    • n symbol A contribution to a common meal or entertainment; share; lot; portion.
    • n symbol In crystallography, the symbol of a face is the mathematical expression defining its position with reference to the assumed crystallographic axes. The symbols of Weiss (1818) consist of the in tercepts on the axes written out in full, as a : nb:mc for the general case, the fundamental axial values being designated by a and b (lateral), and c (vertical): thus a:b: ∞ cand a : b :3c are special examples. The Naumann symbols (1830) are adapted from those of Weiss; the expression is abbreviated, the order is inverted, and certain distinguishing signs are added. For the examples given, Naumann's symbols are: general case, m Pn (also mPñ. mPn, etc) or mOn (for the isometric system); further ∞ . The Dana symbols (1850) are those of Naumann further abbreviated, as m-n (m-ñ, m-n etc), etc. In the Millerian system, now generally adopted (introduced by W H. Miller of Cambridge in 1852). the symbol consists of three indexes, which are either whole numbers or zero. For the general case, the symbol is hkl and the relation of the indexes h, k, and l to the axial intercepts is given by the full expression this last can be derived from the symbol ot Weiss if the coefficients are reduced to fractions having unity as their numerators. The Miller symbols for the special examples given above are 320, 321. Bravais (1866) suggested extending the Millerian system to hexagonal forms referred to four crystallographic axes; hence the Bravais-Miller symbols have theform (general), etc. When the indexes are included in brackets or parentheses, as [321], (321), this expression is generally understood to be the symbol of the form — that is, to include all the faces which belong to it; thus the orthorhombic form (321) or (321) includes the eight faces , : here as always in the Millerian system negative values are indicated by a sign placed over the index. The zone-symbol, from which the common relation of the indexes for all forns lying in the zone is deduced, is similar to that of a crystal form but is usually inclosed in square brackets: thus the zone-symbol [11ī] means that for every face in the given zone the zonal equation h + k = l holds good.—Identity symbol. See identity.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The # symbols is often referred to as a "number sign" or "pound sign." Its actual name is an octothorpe
    • n Symbol sim′bol a sign by which one knows a thing: an arbitrary or other conventional mark, abbreviating methods of scientific expression, as in algebra, and esp. chemistry: an emblem: that which represents something else: a figure or letter representing something:
    • v.t Symbol to represent by symbols
    • n Symbol sim′bol (theol.) a creed, compendium of doctrine, or a typical religious rite, as the Eucharist
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Quotations

  • Marilyn Monroe
    Marilyn Monroe
    “A sex symbol becomes a thing. I hate being a thing.”
  • Raquel Welch
    Raquel Welch
    “Being a sex symbol was rather like being a convict.”
  • Alex Haley
    Alex Haley
    “Roots is not just a saga of my family. It is the symbolic saga of a people.”
  • Thomas Carlyle
    Thomas%20Carlyle
    “In the long-run every Government is the exact symbol of its People, with their wisdom and unwisdom; we have to say, Like People like Government.”
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon%20B.%20Johnson
    “The guns and bombs, the rockets and the warships, all are symbols of human failure.”
  • Thomas J. Peters
    Thomas%20J.%20Peters
    “The best leaders... almost without exception and at every level, are master users of stories and symbols.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. symbolus, symbolum, Gr. sy`mbolon a sign by which one knows or infers a thing, from symba`llein to throw or put together, to compare; sy`n with + ba`llein to throw: cf. F. symbole,. Cf. Emblem Parable
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. symbolon, from symballeinsyn, together, ballein, to throw.

Usage

In literature:

Such a character as this, is obviously the symbol of an idea, not the representative of a word.
"Romulus, Makers of History" by Jacob Abbott
Symbolism has entered largely into religious decoration.
"Introduction to the History of Religions" by Crawford Howell Toy
He was ashamed of the ecstasy into which he could throw himself with these symbols.
"The Rainbow" by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
The incident seemed to him symbolic.
"Cleo The Magnificent" by Louis Zangwill
In the first was the disk, the symbol of the god; in the second, the god itself.
"Lotus Buds" by Amy Carmichael
Particular natural facts are symbols of particular spiritual facts.
"Nature" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Symbol on the rabbit as a symbol, 487.
"Notes and Queries, Index of Volume 5, January-June, 1852" by Various
In estimating the God-idea of the Ancients, many mistakes have arisen by confounding religious symbols with the "sacred" symbols.
"Sex=The Unknown Quantity" by Ali Nomad
The influence of light as a sacred symbol.
"Modern Painters Volume II (of V)" by John Ruskin
When did this thing happen of which the shameless wenches parade the symbol?
"The Flute of the Gods" by Marah Ellis Ryan
It is still so regarded by the Chinese, who make of it one of their most beautiful symbols, the dragon.
"Carmen Ariza" by Charles Francis Stocking
These symbolic crosses point to a very early date.
"The Shores of the Adriatic" by F. Hamilton Jackson
The stalks are probably the septa of the panels and the leaves are the usual reptilian symbols.
"Ancient art of the province of Chiriqui, Colombia" by William Henry Holmes
A symbol is nothing except as it represents that which is to be symbolized.
"The Philosophy of Evolution" by Stephen H. Carpenter
We have symbolic pictures of the lion carrying the lotus in its mouth, doubtless a male and female symbol.
"The Sex Worship and Symbolism of Primitive Races" by Sanger Brown, II
Again, a dolphin may be used as a symbol of the sea; a man ploughing with two oxen is a well-known symbol of a Roman colony.
"The Stones of Venice, Volume I (of 3)" by John Ruskin
In pictures and statues the apostles nearly always carry the symbols of their identity.
"Tuscan Sculpture of the Fifteenth Century" by Estelle M. Hurll
The artist regretted that there was no accepted symbol of the constitution.
"On the Heights" by Berthold Auerbach
Goddess and barrier are symbols of Tibet's spiritual and material agencies of opposition.
"The Unveiling of Lhasa" by Edmund Candler
Upon his head, if this were Menephtah, was the golden symbol of his own divinity.
"The Expositor's Bible: The Book of Exodus" by G. A. Chadwick
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In poetry:

"Ye bow to ghastly symbols,
To cross and scourge and thorn;
Ye seek his Syrian manger
Who in the heart is born.
"The Vision Of Echard" by John Greenleaf Whittier
And tender-hearted Lawson
Sang everybody's wrongs;
And Brennan, in the basement,
Crooned weird, symbolic songs.
"A Vision Splendid" by Victor James Daley
A Symbol Form that mirrors ours,
That is, yet is not, we,
That seems to hint of Higher Powers
Than Fate or Memory:
"Dominions Of The Boundary" by Bernard O Dowd
They brought her here—a tiny maid,
Unweeting any gain or loss,
And on her baby forehead laid
The symbol of the Cross.
"The Old Church on the Hill" by Kate Seymour Maclean
We symbol forms enshrined in them
Angels are emblemed in a clod,
And every stone is made a gem
Set in the altar of its God.
"Introit : I. Coeli Lucida Templa" by Thomas MacDonagh
Her pomp of glorious hues,
Her revelries of ripeness, her kind smile,
Her songs, her peeping faces, lure awhile
With symbol-clues.
"Earth And Man" by George Meredith

In news:

The Vilas Bridge was built around 1930 as a "Symbol of Friendship" between Vermont and New Hampshire.
A sign with the 'like' symbol stands in front of the Facebook headquarters on Feb 1, 2012 in Menlo Park, California.
The UN has named October 31 Seven Billion Day, and the organization plans on having a few other babies born around the world share the symbolic recognition with Danica.
"It's symbolic of Japan," Chou said.
MOORESVILLE Mooresville and Martinsville battled Friday for the new trophy designated as the "Battle of the M," symbolizing the schools' names and their residence.
See flashy signs symbolizing a bygone era in Las Vegas at the neon boneyard.
Star Wars' sex symbol tells almost all in confessional stand-up and Q&A session.
At 69, find out how legendary sex symbol Raquel Welch is aging brilliantly .
Greg MacDonald, the owner of Golden Meadows, installed these flagpoles to hold the American flag, to show all of the positive characters of our nation, and the Montana state flag, as a symbol of the state in where we work and live.
The "My Plate" symbol is easier to understand.
Before there was ever a Sharon Van Etten, Jessica Lea Mayfield, or even Zooey Deschanel, Case was letting her unearthly voice introduce her heavily symbolic, emotionally acute music to fans everywhere.
The statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass that’s standing in the atrium of a Washington government office building has been a symbol-in-waiting –.
The District doesn't get many victories in Congress, but the city scored an important symbolic win Wednesday as the Senate approved a measure to put a statue of abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass in the Capitol.
Watershed event symbolizes community's remarkable progress.
Ridden by Brice Blanc, the daughter of Victory Gallop charged between tiring pacesetter Speedy Sonata and Peace Symbol in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length.
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In science:

Note that the symbol “=” and the symbol “|” in a context definition are symbols of the SL language.
From Syntactic Theories to Interpreters: A Specification Language and Its Compilation
We call ξ n ¯ξm “a symbol of Fn [zg ] ¯Fm [ ¯z ¯g ]” and Φ “a symbol map”.
Integrable Submodels of Nonlinear $\sigma$-models and Their Generalization
Its blocks are some untouched separate symbols as well as others, consisting of more than one symbol.
Gibbs and Quantum Discrete Spaces
Consider a set of “complementary” symbols Σ such that there is a unique symbol ¯a ∈ Σ for each a ∈ Σ, and Σ ∩ Q =
Using Tree Automata and Regular Expressions to Manipulate Hierarchically Structured Data
Indeed, in such an automaton γ is not allowed to produce symbols from Σ, which is where all the original input symbols come from.
Using Tree Automata and Regular Expressions to Manipulate Hierarchically Structured Data
Thus, if a symbol in a label belongs to Σ, it must be an original one; otherwise, the symbol has to be a result of a vertical rule.
Using Tree Automata and Regular Expressions to Manipulate Hierarchically Structured Data
Q-symbol in t belongs to the set of symbols in the same position in t′ .
Using Tree Automata and Regular Expressions to Manipulate Hierarchically Structured Data
Also, we assume that constant symbols, function symbols and variables are not associated with different types in Γ.
Typed Generic Traversal With Term Rewriting Strategies
The symbol and the principal symbol, respectively, aγ (x)ξ γ , Pm (x, ξ ) = X|γ |=m P (x, ξ ) = X|γ |≤m m [ξ ].
Elliptic regularity and solvability for partial differential equations with Colombeau coefficients
Its symbol is represented by a family of smooth regularizations, which may (but need not) be convergent to a distributional symbol.
First-order hyperbolic pseudodifferential equations with generalized symbols
The second part in this decomposition is the operator symbol of a convolution with bounded symbol (since h0 := h − h is of order 0), composed with multiplication by 1 − χ from the left.
First-order hyperbolic pseudodifferential equations with generalized symbols
Lowercase symbols represent constants of the language and uppercase symbols are variables.
Logic-Based Specification Languages for Intelligent Software Agents
In the SP system, a symbol is simply a ‘mark’ that can be matched with other symbols to decide in each case whether it is the ‘same’ or ‘different’.
Towards an Intelligent Database System Founded on the SP Theory of Computing and Cognition
However, it is possible to define the meaning of any given symbol in the SP system in terms of other symbols and patterns that are associated with it in the system.
Towards an Intelligent Database System Founded on the SP Theory of Computing and Cognition
Let Lac be the language of rings with an extra constant symbol to denote π and a relation symbol to denote the set R(1) .
Grothendieck rings of \mathbb{Z}-valued fields
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