sig·​ni·​fi·​er | \ ˈsig-nə-ˌfī(-ə)r How to pronounce signifier (audio) \

Definition of signifier

1 : one that signifies
2 : a symbol, sound, or image (such as a word) that represents an underlying concept or meaning — compare signified

Examples of signifier in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Its absence from TikTok is a signifier of something even more insidious: the weaponisation of social media platforms’ terms of service against women’s rights. Katie Baskerville,, 8 June 2021 Beyond being a subtle fashion signifier, the belt serves a utilitarian purpose for me as well. Sean Clancy, Arkansas Online, 13 June 2021 Bennett still wears a small yarmulke, or skullcap — in Israel, normally a signifier of devout Orthodox Judaism — which clings to his bald pate in a precarious manner that even admirers sometimes lightly mock. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2021 The shirt is a preppy staple, a streetwear signifier, and (sometimes) even a school uniform. Sarah Adams, Town & Country, 18 May 2021 The show’s many references to Wawa, a quick-service chain beloved both for its hoagies and its status as a regional signifier, have put the humble store in the national spotlight. Nate Jones, Vulture, 14 May 2021 But fashion has been a cultural signifier for LGBTQ+ people since at least the late 19th century. Molly Greeves,, 24 Mar. 2021 But fashion has been a cultural signifier for LGBTQ+ people since at least the late 19th century. Molly Greeves,, 24 Mar. 2021 Wearing a mask in Sweden was sometimes seen as a signifier of being anti-science. Mallory Pickett, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2021

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

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First Known Use of signifier

1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for signifier

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The first known use of signifier was in 1532

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Statistics for signifier

Last Updated

5 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Signifier.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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