Meaning of SYMBOL in English

SYMBOL

/ ˈsɪmbl; NAmE / noun

1.

symbol (of sth) a person, an object, an event, etc. that represents a more general quality or situation :

White has always been a symbol of purity in Western cultures.

Mandela became a symbol of the anti-apartheid struggle.

➡ note at sign

2.

symbol (for sth) a sign, number, letter, etc. that has a fixed meaning, especially in science, mathematics and music :

What is the chemical symbol for copper?

A list of symbols used on the map is given in the index.

—see also sex symbol , status symbol

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WORD ORIGIN

late Middle English (denoting the Apostles' Creed): from Latin symbolum symbol, Creed (as the mark of a Christian), from Greek sumbolon mark, token, from sun- with + ballein to throw.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.