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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