Etymology of Symbol

Seen in Latin as symbŏlus, from the Greek sýmbolos, formed by the prefix sin-, given the Greek articulation syn-, that points out the idea of ‘meeting, encounter or union,’ from the Indo-European reference *sun-, contemplated as the connector, and – bolus detached from the verb ballein, that refers to ‘throwing’ or ‘casting’, with roots in the Indo-European *gwele-, for ‘throwing’.

We can observe the effect of the prefix syn- in ‘system’ (stated in the Greek as sýstēma), ‘synthesis’(from the Greek sýnthesis), or ‘symmetry’(appreciated in the Greek as symmetria); on the other hand, ballein appears in ‘metabolism’ (stated in the Greek metabole) or ‘problem’ (by the Greek word próblēma).

A symbol is considered to be any graphic or visual expression that makes it possible to identify something, making it possible to configure and communicate the language, as well as to represent facts, or to act on a semiotic level by the association of signs of universal social scope such as the cross of a church or the star of life seen on ambulances.

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