signifier(redirected from signifiants)
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1. One that signifies.
2. Linguistics A linguistic unit or pattern, such as a succession of speech sounds, written symbols, or gestures, that conveys meaning; a linguistic sign. The signifier of the concept "tree" is, in English, the string of speech sounds (t), (r), and (ē); in German, (b), (ou), and (m).
[Translation of French signifiant, present participle of signifier, to signify.]
sig•ni•fier(ˈsɪg nəˌfaɪ ər)
1. a person or thing that signifies.
2. Ling. a pattern of sense impressions, as a written symbol or series of sounds, that expresses a meaning. Compare signified.
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|Noun||1.||signifier - the phonological or orthographic sound or appearance of a word that can be used to describe or identify something; "the inflected forms of a word can be represented by a stem and a list of inflections to be attached"|
linguistics - the scientific study of language
word - a unit of language that native speakers can identify; "words are the blocks from which sentences are made"; "he hardly said ten words all morning"
ghost word - a word form that has entered the language through the perpetuation of an error
root word, stem, root, theme, radical, base - (linguistics) the form of a word after all affixes are removed; "thematic vowels are part of the stem"
etymon, root - a simple form inferred as the common basis from which related words in several languages can be derived by linguistic processes
citation form, entry word, main entry word - the form of a word that heads a lexical entry and is alphabetized in a dictionary
abbreviation - a shortened form of a word or phrase
acronym - a word formed from the initial letters of the several words in the name