Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “symbol”


noun [C]    /ˈsɪm·bəl/
anything used to represent something else, such as a sign or mark, a person, or an event: Five interlocking rings is the symbol of the Olympic games. She’s a symbol of hope for people living with this condition. Symbols are used in mathematics, music, and science and also have various practical uses: The symbol on this label means that the shirt is washable. symbolic    /sɪmˈbɑl·ɪk/ adjective The Oval Office in the White House has come to be regarded as symbolic of the presidency. symbolically  /sɪmˈbɑl·ɪk·li/ adverb
(Definition of symbol noun from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of symbol

More American English definitions for “symbol”

Definitions of “symbol” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

limber up

to do gentle exercises to stretch the muscles in order to prepare the body for more active physical exercise

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More