signifier

[sig-nuh-fahy-er]
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noun
  1. a person or thing that signifies.
  2. the configuration of sound elements or other linguistic symbols representing a word or other meaningful unit in a language.
Compare signified.

Origin of signifier

First recorded in 1525–35; signify + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Word Origin and History for signifier
n.

1530s, agent noun from signify. In U.S. black use by 1962.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper