Share this entry
symposium Line breaks: sym|po¦sium
Pronunciation: /sɪmˈpəʊzɪəm/

Definition of symposium in English:

noun (plural symposia sɪmˈpəʊzɪə or symposiums)

1A conference or meeting to discuss a particular subject.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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).
Example sentences
  • 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'.

Definition of symposium in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources