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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.]


(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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.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"
plural, plural form - the form of a word that is used to denote more than one
singular, singular form - the form of a word that is used to denote a singleton
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
References in classic literature ?
Et cela doit signifier," said she, "qu'il y aura le dedans un cadeau pour moi, et peut-etre pour vous aussi, mademoiselle.
Similar to the absence of God in the system of signifiers, in populism the people is also an "empty signifier", equivocation on which is sanctified, and utilized for exclusionary purposes.
As a result, the drive is not an automatic response to an outer agent, but it is a representation of something attached to the body, this is to say, it involves the primordial role of the signifier and its effect on the subject, a remark that clearly differentiates the drive from instincts (2).
For him sign, that was divided into signifier and signified, no longer held its duality.
Together, the signifier (that which communicates or points to) and the signified (that which is communicated or is pointed to) make up a sign.
Remaining as an eternal signifier within the story's universe, Tulsu corresponds to an empty locus, thereby problematizing the Platonic assumption of signified in signification process.
King, Homay, Lost in Translation: Orientalism, Cinema, and the Enigmatic Signifier, Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 2010, ISBN 9 7808 2234 7590, x+205 pp.
Indeed, as I will argue later, Lacan might be better understood as a non- if not anti-dialectical thinker, concerned with the paradoxical productivity of aporias and what we might call the weird materialism of the signifier, something I'll return to.
the meaning to which every signifier ultimately points.
We need to treat "model partnership" as an empty signifier of this new yet-to-be-defined relationship between the US and Turkey.
She is, as Jacques Lacan would say, cut loose from the signifier, and she seems to be losing her connection to the symbolic world.
The Wandering Signifier contains an introduction, three central chapters and a conclusion.