sig·​ni·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌsig-nə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce signification (audio) \

Definition of signification

1a : the act or process of signifying by signs or other symbolic means
b : a formal notification
2 : purport especially : the meaning that a term, symbol, or character regularly conveys or is intended to convey
3 chiefly dialectal : importance, consequence

Keep scrolling for more

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

Anxious to stake a claim for the paintings’ place in art history, critics load them up with extra signification. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 2018 Without getting too far into semiotics here, some of the most used emoji are prolifically traded not for their literal representations but for their cultural significations. Vogue, "These Are the Top 9 New Emoji You'll Need for 2018," 8 Feb. 2018 Other pieces from the Conversions series saw Acconci burn the hair off his body using a candle or mold his chest into breasts, playing at the margins of gender signification. Kriston Capps, The Atlantic, "Vito Acconci and the Shelf Life of Sensational Art," 3 May 2017 Like the onset of holiday shopping, our presidential election season seems to arrive earlier—with more sound and fury and less signification—every cycle. Scott Dadich, WIRED, "These Days, All Politics Is Technological," 26 May 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'signification.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of signification

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about signification

Statistics for signification

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for signification

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

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on signification

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with signification

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for signification

Comments on signification

What made you want to look up signification? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!