Pronunciation: (sim'bu-liz"um), [key]
1. the practice of representing things by symbols, or of investing things with a symbolic meaning or character.
2. a set or system of symbols.
3. symbolic meaning or character.
4. the principles and practice of symbolists in art or literature.
5. (cap.) a movement of the late 19th century in French art and literature. Cf. symbolist (defs. 3b, 4b).
6. the use of any of certain special figures or marks of identification to signify a religious message or divine being, as the cross for Christ and the Christian faith.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.