Alternative formsEdit


From Middle French symboliser



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.
    • 1626, Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, Or, A Naturall Historie: In Ten Centuries
      The pleasing of colour symbolizeth with the pleasing of any single tone to the ear; but the pleasing of order doth symbolize with harmony.
    • (Can we date this quote by Howell and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      They both symbolize in this, that they love to look upon themselves through multiplying glasses.
  4. (intransitive, obsolete) To hold the same faith; to agree.
    • (Can we date this quote by G. S. Faber and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      The believers in pretended miracles have always previously symbolized with the performers of them.

Derived termsEdit