/sim bol"ik/, adj.
1. serving as a symbol of something (often fol. by of).
2. of, pertaining to, or expressed by a symbol.
3. characterized by or involving the use of symbols: a highly symbolic poem.
4. (in semantics, esp. formerly) pertaining to a class of words that express only relations. Cf. notional (def. 7).
5. Computers. expressed in characters, usually nonnumeric, that require translation before they can be used (opposed to absolute).
Also, symbolical (for defs. 1-4).
[1650-60; < LL symbolicus < Gk symbolikós. See SYMBOL, -IC]

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  • Symbolic — Sym*bol ic, Symbolical Sym*bol ic*al, a. [L. symbolicus, Gr. symboliko s: cf. F. symbolique.] Of or pertaining to a symbol or symbols; of the nature of a symbol; exhibiting or expressing by resemblance or signs; representative; as, the figure of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • symbolic — index nominal, representative, suggestive (evocative) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • symbolic — c.1600 (implied in symbolically); see SYMBOL (Cf. symbol) + IC (Cf. ic) …   Etymology dictionary

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  • symbolic — ► ADJECTIVE 1) serving as a symbol. 2) involving the use of symbols or symbolism. DERIVATIVES symbolically adverb …   English terms dictionary

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