sig·​ni·​fi·​ca·​tion ˌsig-nə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce signification (audio)
: the act or process of signifying by signs or other symbolic means
: a formal notification
: purport
especially : the meaning that a term, symbol, or character regularly conveys or is intended to convey
chiefly dialectal : importance, consequence

Examples of signification in a Sentence

we should assume that the author is using the word in its ordinary signification
Recent Examples on the Web William is studying Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and writing a thesis on the theory of signification. Cressida Leyshon, The New Yorker, 15 Jan. 2024 What once had been a multitude of beings with varying cultural and spiritual significations—not to mention consciousnesses of their own—became commodities that held value only when inserted into a by-now self-propelling and endlessly expanding market. Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, 10 May 2023 Location accuracy improved from there on out, with a signification portion of the data from the remainder of the experiment being within three miles of the craft’s true location. Amber Jorgenson, Discover Magazine, 16 Jan. 2018 The apartment signs of L.A. announce location through flair, decadence, strangeness, absurdity, signification. Los Angeles Times, 18 May 2022 But oranges, which were a delicacy that Leonardo may have seen firsthand at the table of the Duke of Milan, bore significance in the history of painting beyond their signification of luxury. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021 On March 25, the agency warned Pfizer (PFE) of signification violations at its Hospira facility in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, which makes sterile injectable medicines. Ed Silverman, STAT, 1 Apr. 2020 This self-signification is itself a paradox, insofar as Costa himself approaches the story of Vitalina with an utterly sealed-off, unbroken dramatic realism. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 22 Feb. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'signification.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of signification was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near signification

Cite this Entry

“Signification.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


sig·​ni·​fi·​ca·​tion ˌsig-nə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce signification (audio)
: the meaning that a term or symbol has or is meant to have
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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