signifier

[sig-nuh-fahy-er]
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:
1525–35; signify + -er1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
signify (ˈsɪɡnɪˌfaɪ)
 
vb , -fies, -fying, -fied
1.  (tr) to indicate, show, or suggest
2.  (tr) to imply or portend: the clouds signified the coming storm
3.  (tr) to stand as a symbol, sign, etc (for)
4.  informal (intr) to be significant or important
 
[C13: from Old French signifier, from Latin significāre, from signum a sign, mark + facere to make]
 
'signifiable
 
adj
 
'signifier
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Science fiction writers had long used videophones as a signifier of a technologically advanced civilization.
Macintosh has become a symbol of a sort of intellectual freedom, a signifier that someone has logged into the digital age.
Or as the semiologists would say, a politician's rhetoric is the signifier rather than the signified.
Give each group a colored armband or other group signifier.
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