Choose the right word
emblem, attribute, image, sign, symbol, token, type
When it comes to representing or embodying the invisible or intangible, you can't beat a symbol. It applies to anything that serves as an outward sign of something immaterial or spiritual ( the cross as a symbol of salvation ; the crown as a symbol of monarchy ), although the association between the symbol and what it represents does not have to be based on tradition or convention and may, in fact, be quite arbitrary ( the annual gathering at the cemetery became a symbol of the family's long and tragic history ). An emblem is a visual symbol or pictorial device that represents the character or history of a family, a nation, or an office ( the eagle is an emblem of the United States ). It is very close in meaning to attribute, which is an object that is conventionally associated with either an individual, a group, or an abstraction ( the spiked wheel as an attribute of St. Catherine ; the scales as an attribute of Justice ). An image is also a visual representation or embodiment, but in a much broader sense ( veins popping, he was the image of the angry father ). Sign is often used in place of symbol to refer to a simple representation of an agreed-upon meaning ( the upraised fist as a sign of victory ; the white flag as a sign of surrender ), but a symbol usually embodies a wider range of meanings, while a sign can be any object, event, or gesture from which information can be deduced ( her faltering voice was a sign of her nervousness ). A token, on the other hand, is something offered as a symbol or reminder ( he gave her his class ring as a token of his devotion ) and a type, particularly in a religious context, is a symbol or representation of something not present ( Jerusalem as the type of heaven ; the paschal lamb as the type of Christ ).