symbol - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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symbol

noun [C] uk   us   /ˈsɪm.bəl/
B2 a sign, shape, or object that is used to represent something else: A heart shape is the symbol of love. The wheel in the Indian flag is a symbol of peace.
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something that is used to represent a quality or idea: Water, a symbol of life, recurs as an image throughout her poems. a number, letter, or sign used in mathematics, music, science, etc.: The symbol for oxygen is O. An object can be described as a symbol of something else if it seems to represent it because it is connected with it in a lot of people's minds: The private jet is a symbol of wealth.
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(Definition of symbol from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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