[ see-mee-ot-iks, sem-ee-, see-mahy- ]
/ ˌsi miˈɒt ɪks, ˌsɛm i-, ˌsi maɪ- /

noun (used with a singular verb)

the study of signs and symbols as elements of communicative behavior; the analysis of systems of communication, as language, gestures, or clothing.
a general theory of signs and symbolism, usually divided into the branches of pragmatics, semantics, and syntactics.

Origin of semiotics

First recorded in 1875–80; see origin at semiotic, -ics
Related formsse·mi·o·ti·cian [see-mee-uh-tish-uh n, sem-ee-, see-mahy-] /ˌsi mi əˈtɪʃ ən, ˌsɛm i-, ˌsi maɪ-/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for semiotician (1 of 2)


/ (ˌsɛmɪəˈtɪʃən) /


a person who studies semiotics

British Dictionary definitions for semiotician (2 of 2)



/ (ˌsɛmɪˈɒtɪks, ˌsiːmɪ-) /

noun (functioning as singular)

the study of signs and symbols, esp the relations between written or spoken signs and their referents in the physical world or the world of ideasSee also semantics, syntactics, pragmatics
the scientific study of the symptoms of disease; symptomatology
Also: semiology, semeiology
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for semiotician



study of signs and symbols with special regard to function and origin, 1880, from semiotic; also see -ics. Medical sense is from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper