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Today’s word of the day exercise is



This is one of the more specialised words in the Academic Word List and is mostly used in writing about literature. Perhaps the most useful form of the word for IELTS people is the combination with important/importance.

Forms of the word





Using the word

purely/only: It can be argued that taxation on tobacco is ineffective and purely symbolic.

important: Nuclear weapons are symbolically important even if they are are unlikely ever to be used.

gesture: This decision to help fund research into cancer is a symbolic gesture that may inspire other people to give more generously.

of: This new generation of skyscrapers is a symbol of China’s emergence as an economic powerhouse.

sex/status: A large proportion of off road vehicles are bought as status symbols and are only for the daily commute.




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