Meaning of signifier in English:


Pronunciation /ˈsɪɡnɪfʌɪə/


  • A sign's physical form (such as a sound, printed word, or image) as distinct from its meaning.

    Compare with signified

    ‘In Saussure's theory of linguistics, the signifier is the sound and the signified is the thought.’
    • ‘Phonology was of linguistic interest only to the extent that sound patterns functioned as signifiers.’
    • ‘They draw attention to contingent referents, the signifiers and the sign-systems that position subjects as such.’
    • ‘Social meaning and communication derive from a variety of signs and signifiers.’
    • ‘The principal concern is the preposition ‘on’ as a signifier of contact with a surface - especially an upper surface.’
    symbol, mark, cipher, letter, character, numeral, figure, type, code, hieroglyph