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A red octagon symbolizes "stop" even without the word.

A symbol is an object or a concept that represents, stands for or suggests another idea, visual image, belief, action or material entity. Symbols take the form of words, sounds, gestures, ideas or visual images and are used to convey other ideas and beliefs. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a blue line might represent a river. Numerals are symbols for numbers. Alphabetic letters may be symbols for sounds. Personal names are symbols representing individuals. A red rose may symbolize love and compassion. The variable x in a mathematical equation may symbolize the position of a particle in space.

In cartography, an organized collection of symbols forms a legend for a map.


Symbol sections
Intro  Etymology  Definitions  Symbols and semiotics  Psychoanalysis, rhetoric and archetypes  Paul Tillich  Role of context in symbolism  Symbolic action   See also    Notes    External links   

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