Meaning of SYMBOLIC in English

SYMBOLIC

sym ‧ bol ‧ ic AC /sɪmˈbɒlɪk $ -ˈbɑː-/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ symbol , ↑ symbolism ; verb : ↑ symbolize ; adverb : ↑ symbolically ; adjective : ↑ symbolic ]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ symbol , ↑ symbolism ; verb : ↑ symbolize ; adverb : ↑ symbolically ; adjective : ↑ symbolic ]

1 . a symbolic action is important because of what it represents but may not have any real effect

symbolic gesture/act

The protest was a symbolic gesture of anger at official policy.

symbolic significance/importance

a meeting of symbolic importance

purely/largely symbolic

It was a largely symbolic gesture from a government trying to win support.

2 . representing a particular idea or quality:

Each element of the ceremony has a symbolic meaning.

symbolic of

Today’s fighting is symbolic of the chaos which the country is facing.

3 . using or involving symbols:

A map is a form of symbolic representation.

—symbolically /-kli/ adverb

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COLLOCATIONS

■ nouns

▪ a symbolic gesture

They fired arrows out to sea in a symbolic gesture of defiance.

▪ a symbolic act

Lighting the Olympic flame is a symbolic act.

▪ symbolic importance/significance

The capture of the city was of great symbolic importance.

■ adverbs

▪ largely symbolic

The vote was largely symbolic.

▪ purely symbolic

Our protest was meant to be purely symbolic.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.