Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The theory and study of signs and symbols, especially as elements of language or other systems of communication, and comprising semantics, syntactics, and pragmatics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The study of signs and symbols, especially as means of language or communication.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as semeiotics.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The doctrine or science of signs; the language of signs.
  • n. 2. Specifically, that branch of pathology which is concerned with the significance of all symptoms in the human body, whether healthy or diseased; symptomatology; semiology.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (philosophy) a philosophical theory of the functions of signs and symbols

Etymologies

Coined by John Locke from Ancient Greek σημειωτικός (sēmeiōtikós, "fitted for marking, portending"), from σημειοῦν (semeioun, "to mark, interpret as a portend"), from σημεῖον (semeion, "a mark, sign, token"), from σῆμα (sema, "mark, sign"). (Wiktionary)

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