Definition of symposium in English:


Line breaks: sym|po¦sium
Pronunciation: /sɪmˈpəʊzɪəm

noun (plural symposia /-zɪə/ or symposiums)

  • 1A conference or meeting to discuss a particular subject.
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    • There is a long history behind the ICS; most of the early international geological congresses had symposia and meetings to debate and decide stratigraphical procedures and nomenclature.
    • She has produced scores of professional publications and reviews, delivered numerous lectures, and conducted many symposia and conference sessions.
    • The abundance of conferences, symposia, workshops, colloquia, seminars, and other gatherings devoted to mathematical topics attests to a strong desire for interaction.
  • 1.1A collection of essays or papers on a particular subject by a number of contributors.
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    • Keith Young published over 100 papers and contributed to numerous symposia and field guides dealing with Mesozoic biostratigraphy.
    • His prior books about large-scale social transformation have been the subjects of numerous review essays and university symposia, and some scholars view them as classics.
    • The Journal accepted a paper for a symposium; but now it turns out that four years ago, a coauthor of the paper made what certainly seems like a racist statement.
  • 2A drinking party or convivial discussion, especially as held in ancient Greece after a banquet (and notable as the title of a work by Plato).
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    • One song was apparently written for a symposium (drinking party) given by Archidamus II king of Sparta.
    • The symposium, or drinking party, would normally have been equipped with vessels of precious metal.
    • What inspired this period of dynamic creativity in the production of hydrias for symposia in the last third of the sixth century in Athens?


late 16th century (denoting a drinking party): via Latin from Greek sumposion, from sumpotēs 'fellow drinker', from sun- 'together' + potēs 'drinker'.

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