Definitions

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

  • n. Linguistics The concept that a signifier denotes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The concept or idea evoked by a sign.
  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of signify.

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

  • n. the meaning of a word or expression; the way in which a word or expression or situation can be interpreted

Etymologies

Translation of French signifié, past participle of signifier, to signify.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Initially, the label signified that 100% of the wood used in a product was harvested by sustainable methods.

    FSC's 'Green' Label for Wood Products Gets Growing Pains

  • I had been taught that “itis” at the end of a word signified some kind of inflammation and I was exposed to the insight that “gastr” was supposed to make you think about stomachs; so I creatively surmised correctly that the word “gastritis” might well relate to inflammation of the stomach.

    A Mind at a Time

  • Bush called himself the “asterisk candidate,” referring to the fact that an asterisk following his name signified that poll takers found no support at all for him.

    COMPLETING THE REVOLUTION

  • Let animal be the term signified by A, mortal by B, and immortal by C, and let man, whose definition is to be got, be signified by D.

    PRIOR ANALYTICS

  • Flandry didn't know what the title signified -- and Merseian grades were subtle, variable things -- but it was plainly a high one, since the aristocratic-deferential form of address was used.

    A Circus of Hells

  • In his book The Peace Process, William Quant traces American-led negotiations from the mid-1970s when the term signified a "gradual, step-by-step approach to resolving one of the world's most difficult conflicts."

    Dissident Voice

  • In his book "The Peace Process," William Quant traces American-led negotiations from the mid-1970s when the term signified a "gradual, step-by-step approach to resolving one of the world's most difficult conflicts."

    WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

  • This shifting relationship between the word and the idea, between the signifier and the signified is the reason for the "doubtfulness and uncertainty of their [words '] signification" (III. ix.4, p. 479), and Locke is explicit as to what he thinks of those who exploit this shifting relationship: "'tis plain cheat and abuse, when I make them [words] stand sometimes for one thing and sometimes for another" (III. x.5, p. 492).

    Unlocking Language: Self-Similarity in Blake's _Jerusalem_.

  • The cacophony would be excusable if the barbarous term signified nothing but the creature signified; but as a rule this name possesses, hidden in its Greek or other roots, a certain meaning in which the novice hopes to find instruction.

    Social Life in the Insect World

  • And should I eventually find the elusive Condors in some other TV show, I could say that, like the Titans, the new name signified the Hawks' new home and new identity.

    Archive 2009-02-01

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