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semiotics

[see-mee-ot-iks, sem-ee-, see-mahy-]
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noun (used with a singular verb)
  1. the study of signs and symbols as elements of communicative behavior; the analysis of systems of communication, as language, gestures, or clothing.
  2. a general theory of signs and symbolism, usually divided into the branches of pragmatics, semantics, and syntactics.
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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

semiotic

[see-mee-ot-ik, sem-ee, see-mahy-]
adjective Also se·mi·ot·i·cal.
  1. of or relating to signs.
  2. of or relating to semiotics.
  3. Medicine/Medical. of or relating to symptoms; symptomatic.
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noun
  1. semiotics.
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Origin of semiotic

1615–20; (def 3) < Greek sēmeiōtikós significant, equivalent to sēmeiō-, verbid stem of sēmeioûn to interpret as a sign (derivative of Greek sēmeîon sign) + -tikos -tic; (def 4) < Greek sēmeiōtikḗ, noun use of feminine of sēmeiōtikós, adapted by John Locke (on the model of Greek logikḗ logic, etc.; see -ic) to mean “the doctrine of signs”; (defs 1, 2) based on Locke's coinage or a reanalysis of the Gk word
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

symbolismparolesemanticspragmaticslanguesyntactics

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British Dictionary definitions for semiotics

semiotics

semeiotics

noun (functioning as singular)
  1. 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
  2. the scientific study of the symptoms of disease; symptomatology
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Also: semiology, semeiology

semiotic

semeiotic

adjective
  1. relating to signs and symbols, esp spoken or written signs
  2. relating to semiotics
  3. of, relating to, or resembling the symptoms of disease; symptomatic
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Word Origin

C17: from Greek sēmeiōtikos taking note of signs, from sēmeion a sign
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 semiotics

n.

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

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semiotic

adj.

1620s, "of symptoms, relating to signs of diseases," from Greek semeiotikos "significant," also "observant of signs," adjective form of semeiosis "indication," from semeioun "to signal, to interpret a sign," from semeion "a sign, mark, token," from sema "sign" (see semantic). Its use in psychology dates to 1923. Related: Semiotical (1580s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper