A symbol is something, or someone, that stands for or suggests another entity, action, belief, visual image, or idea. Society uses a plethora of symbols to represent a multitude of things and ideas.
For instance, maps use symbols to denote towns, bridges, landmarks, and roads. Roman or Arabic numerals stand for numbers and the signs that are used in math indicate a mathematic function or relationship. Even reading and writing uses letters which are symbols used to represent sounds. Symbolic thought is a conceptual ability that develops in humans as we develop.