A symbol is something that represents an idea, a process, or a physical entity. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for numbers. Personal names are symbols representing individuals. A red rose symbolizes love and compassion.
In cartography, an organized collection of symbols forms a legend.
Famous quotes containing the word symbol:
“In a symbol there is concealment and yet revelation: here therefore, by silence and by speech acting together, comes a double significance.... In the symbol proper, what we can call a symbol, there is ever, more or less distinctly and directly, some embodiment and revelation of the Infinite; the Infinite is made to blend itself with the Finite, to stand visible, and as it were, attainable there. By symbols, accordingly, is man guided and commanded, made happy, made wretched.”
—Thomas Carlyle (17951881)
“Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his libertyhis excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.”
—Aldous Huxley (18941963)
“A symbol is indeed the only possible expression of some invisible essence, a transparent lamp about a spiritual flame; while allegory is one of many possible representations of an embodied thing, or familiar principle, and belongs to fancy and not to imagination: the one is a revelation, the other an amusement.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)