symbolism

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symbolism

 [sim´bah-lizm]
1. the act or process of representing something by a symbol.
2. in psychoanalytic theory, a mechanism of unconscious thinking characterized by substitution of a symbol for a repressed or threatening impulse or object, which is often of a sexual nature, so as to avoid censorship by the superego.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

sym·bol·ism

(sim'bŏl-izm),
1. In psychoanalysis, the process involved in the disguised representation in consciousness of unconscious or repressed contents or events.
2. A mental state in which a person regards everything that happens as symbolic of that person's own thoughts.
3. The description of the emotional life and experiences in abstract terms.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

sym·bol·ism

(sim'bŏl-izm)
1. psychoanalysis The process involved in the disguised representation in consciousness of unconscious or repressed contents or events.
2. A mental state in which one regards everything that happens as symbolic of one's own thoughts.
3. The description of the emotional life and experiences in abstract terms.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
He believed that the dung of a black horse, mixed with sulphur, and carried in a snake- skin, was a sound remedy for cholera; but the symbolism interested him far more than the science.
At the military symbolism of the action the audience could hardly refrain from applause.
Thus, whether or not the ancient Egyptians were racist towards the Ethiopians, or the colour symbolisms of the Old Testament were meant literally, they served to inform the later practices of slavery and colonialism, and to justify to the slave owners and colonizers their historic actions.