Glossary Item

symbol

Anything that is taken to mean something beyond what it is can be said to be symbolic. The clock tower atop WSU's Bryan Hall, for example, is often taken as a symbol for the university; when it appears on a postcard or a sweatshirt, the picture represents -- symbolizes -- the entire university. The sound or written appearance of a word is always a symbol when someone hears or reads it and comprehends its meaning. On a larger cultural scale, a storm can symbolize troubled times in some cultures whereas in other cultures it can symbolize the blessing of the gods. For comparison, see "sign."


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