Definition of symposium in English:

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Pronunciation: /simˈpōzēəm/

noun (plural symposia /-zēə/ 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.
1.2A 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'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sym·po·si·um

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