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latin symbols and meanings

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A symbol is something such as an object, picture, written word, sound, or particular mark that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On maps, crossed sabres may indicate a battlefield. Numerals are symbols for numbers (amounts). All language consists of symbols. Personal names are symbols representing individuals.

Psychoanalysis and archetypes

Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, who studied archetypes, proposed an alternative definition of symbol, distinguishing it from the term sign. In Jung's view, a sign stands for something known, as a word stands for its referent. He contrasted this with symbol, which he used to stand for something that is unknown and that cannot be made clear or precise. An example of a symbol in this sense isChrist as a symbol of the archetype called self. For example, written languages are composed of a variety of different symbols that create words. Through these written words, humans communicate with each other.Kenneth Burke described Homo sapiensas a "symbol-using, symbol making, and symbol misusing animal" to indicate that a person creates symbols in her or his life as well as misuses them. One example he uses to indicate his meaning behind symbol misuse is the story of a man who, when told a particular food item was whale blubber, could barely keep from throwing it up. Later, his friend discovered it was actually just a dumpling. But the man's reaction was a direct consequence of the symbol of "blubber" representing something inedible in his mind. In addition, the symbol of "blubber" for the man was created by him through various kinds of learning. Burke emphasizes that humans gain this type of learning that helps us create symbols by seeing various print sources, our life experiences, and symbols about the past.

Burke also goes on to describe symbols as also being derived from Sigmund Freud's work on condensation and displacement further stating that they are not just relevant to the theory of dreams, but also to "normal symbol systems". He says they are related through "substitution" where one word, phrase, or symbol is substituted for another in order to change the meaning. In other words, if a person does not understand a certain word or phrase, another person may substitute a synonym or symbol in order to get the meaning of the original word or phrase across. However, when faced with that new way of interpreting a specific symbol, a person may change their already formed ideas to incorporate the new information based on how the symbol is expressed to the person.


The word symbol came to the English language by way of Middle English, from Old French, from Latin, from the Greekσ�μβολον (sýmbolon) from the root words συν- (syn-), meaning "together," and βολή (bolē), "a throw", having the approximate meaning of "to throw together", literally a "co-incidence", also "sign, ticket, or contract". The earliest attestation of the term is in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes where Hermes on seeing the tortoise exclaims σ�μβολον ἤδη μοι μέγ᾽ ὀνήσιμον "symbolon [symbol/sign/portent/encounter/chance find?] of joy to me!" before turning it into a lyre.

Role of context in symbolism

A symbol's meaning may be modified by various factors including popular usage, history, and contextual intent.

Historical meaning

This history of a symbol is one of many factors in determining a particular symbol's apparent meaning. Old symbols become reinterpreted, due perhaps to environmental changes. Consequently, symbols with emotive power carry problems analogous to false etymologies.

For example, the Rebel Flag of the American South predates the American Civil War. An early variant of the crossed bars resembled the Scottish Flag.


Juxtaposition further complicates the matter. Similar five–pointed stars might signify a law enforcement officer or a member of the armed services, depending the uniform.

Latin grammar

The grammar of Latin, like that of other ancient Indo-European languages, is highly inflected. This means the Latingrammar allows for a large degree of flexibility when choosing word order. For example, femina togam texuit, "the woman wove a toga," which is the preferred word order, could be expressed and interpreted as texuit togam femina or togam texuit femina. In each word the suffix: -a, -am and -uit, and not the position in the sentence, marks the word's grammatical function. Word order, however, generally follows the Subject Object Verb paradigm, although variations on this are especially common in poetry and express subtle nuances in prose.

In Latin, there are five declensions of nouns and four conjugations of verbs. Latin does not have articles and so does not generally differentiate between, for example, a girl and the girl; the same syntactic unit represents both: puella amat means both a girl loves and the girl loves. Latin uses prepositions, and usually places adjectives after nouns. The language can also omit pronouns in certain situations, meaning that grammatical gender, person, and number alone can generally identify the agent; pronouns are most often reserved for situations where meaning is not entirely clear. Latin exhibits verb-framing, in which the path of motion is encoded into the verb; e.g. "exit" means "he/she/it goes out"; while English relies on prepositions to encode the same information.

Many words, but a minority, which are conjugated, declined, or which form degrees of comparison, do not do so in exact agreement with the standard paradigms. Such words are called irregular, while those that do agree are called regular. Irregular words are generally ones that are used very frequently. Irregular forms of conjugation, declension, or formation of degrees of comparison are often etymologically traceable to a merging of formerly independent words.


Detailed information and conjugation tables can be found atLatin conjugation.

Latin verbs have numerous conjugated forms. Verbs have three moods (indicative, imperative, and subjunctive), two voices (active and passive), two numbers (singular and plural), three persons (first, second and third); are conjugated in six main tenses (present, imperfect, future, perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect); have the subjunctive mood for the present, imperfect, perfect, and pluperfect. Infinitives and participles occur in the present, perfect, and future tenses; and have the imperative mood for present and future.

Conjugation is the process of inflecting verbs; a set of conjugated forms for a single word is called a conjugation. Latin verbs are divided into four different conjugations by their infinitives, distinguished by the endings -�re, -ēre, -ere, and -īre.


There are six tenses (Latin: tempus) in Latin. They are:

  • Present (Latin: praesens): describes actions happening at the time of speaking:
  • : The slave carries (or is carrying) the wine home.
  • : servus vinum ad villam portat.
  • Imperfect (Latin: imperfectum): describes actions continuing in the past:
  • : The slave used to carry (or was carrying) the wine home.
  • : servus vinum ad villam portabat.
  • Future (Latin: futurum simplex): describes actions taking place in the future:
  • : The slave will carry the wine home.
  • : servus vinum ad villam portabit.
  • Perfect (Latin: perfectum): describes actions completed by the present:
  • : The slave carried (or has carried) the wine home.
  • : servus vinum ad villam portavit.
  • Pluperfect (Latin: plusquamperfectum): describes actions occurring before another past action:
  • : The slave had carried the wine home.
  • : servus vinum ad villam portaverat.
  • Future Perfect (Latin: futurum exactum): describes actions that will be completed some time in the future:
  • : The slave will have carried the wine home.
  • : servus vinum ad villam portaverit.


There are three moods (Latin: modus):

  • Indicative (Latin: indicativus), which states facts:
  • : The slave is carrying wine.
  • : servus vinum portat.
  • Subjunctive or Conjunctive (Latin: coniunctivus), which is used for possibilities, intentions, necessities, and statements contrary to fact:
  • : May the slave carry the wine.
  • : servus vinum portet.

The subjunctive is also used with the formation of subordinate clauses:

We hoped the slave would carry the wine.
sperabamus ut servus vinum portaret.
  • Imperative (Latin: imperativus): used for commands:
  • : "Carry the wine home, slave!"
  • : "porta vinum ad villam, serve!"


There are two voices:

  • Active (Latin: activum), where the verb is done by the subject:
  • : The slave carried the wine home.
  • : servus vinum ad villam portavit.
  • Passive (Latin: passivum), where the verb is done to the subject:
  • : The wine is carried home by the slave.
  • : vinum ad villam a servo portatur.
  • : The wine was carried home by the slave.
  • : vinum ad villam a servo portatum est.


Detailed information and declension tables can be found atLatin declension.

Nouns (including proper nouns and pronouns) have:

From Yahoo Answers

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Answers:It's greek symbol for Sum and the Capital Letter for "S" in greek is (Sigma).

Question:Im looking for a word for a tattoo. A word that means overcomming the bad, light, happiness, fun ect. And what is a symbol or latin word or something that means overcomming the bad? (:

Answers:This is latin, but it is two words and might be too long. Bona fide is commonly used in English to mean "genuine" or "the real thing". See the wiktionary definition. Bona fides = "good faith" Bona fide = "in good faith".

Question:I can't really find this definition anywhere.I know < is less than, and > is greater than, but << and >> seem to work different. I'm working on a math problem, and it wants me to prove that (ln(x))^2 << sqrt(x) But I've no idea what it's actually asking. I thought it meant something like, it is always lesser than, or is always greater than, but ln(x)^2 is not always lesser than the sqrt(x), is it? Like, when x = 20, that's not true.

Answers:Much greater and much less than.

Question:Family gives strength wings in english? and is there a better term for strength that would fit here?

Answers:What you have is garbage - the cases are messed up, but I don't understand what you want: Family gives strength wings. Who gives what to which? Family gives strength to wings: Familia virtutem alis dat. Family gives wings to strength: Familia alas virtuti dat. Virtus, virtutis is a good word for strength - but there are several more that would fit. All depends on what you mean by strength.