Imagery is defined as any type of description that relates to a person's five senses. Technically, however, there are seven types of specific imagery related to our senses:
- Visual: related to things that may be seen
- Auditory: related to things that may be heard
- Olfactory: related to things that may be smelled
- Gustatory: related to things that may be tasted
- Tactile: related to things that may be touched (with the hand or some other body part)
- Kinesthetic: related to motion and/or movement
- Organic: related to feelings inside the body (i.e. hunger, emotions)
Symbolism refers to things that represent other ideas. For example, a white lamb in a poem may be a symbol for innocence.
So, although there might be symbols used in descriptive images, the two terms are not interchangeable.