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the content aspect of a linguistic sign. According to F. de Saussure, a linguistic sign is a combination of “concept,” or the signified, and “sound-image,” or the signifier. In other terminology, “content” and “expression” correspond to these two concepts.

The signified is an abstract unit of the content plane, a unit that is a class of concrete “messages.” (This definition uses the terminology of scholars who define concrete sign units as combinations of “signals”—entities of the expression plane—and “messages”—entities of the content plane.) A signified is a signified only in relation to the corresponding signifier, unlike a message, which can be expressed by different signals. Thus, a given signified and a given signifier are inseparably linked.

The sign, the signified, and the signifier represent three ways of treating the same entity. The terms “sign” or “signifier” are used when the sign is considered in its entirety or in its formal aspect, respectively. The term “signified” is used when approaching the sign from the point of view of meaning.


Saussure, F. de. Kurs obshchei lingvistiki. Moscow, 1933. (Translated from French.)
Obshchee iazykoznanie: Formy sushchestvovaniia, funktsii, istoriia iazyka. Moscow, 1970. Pages 96–170.
Prieto, L. J. Messages et signaux. Paris, 1966.


References in periodicals archive ?
Ruthrof asserts that the regulated, motivated signified is stimulated by imaginability by the reorganization of what a speaker is talking about (aboutness), directly altered by the restoration of speech intention, implied deixis carried by voice.
If we consider Pierce's three types of signs--Indexical, Iconic, and Symbolic--ideograms ("idea pictures," visual approximations of abstract concepts) are iconic because the signifiers do not bear any innate relationship to the signifieds (i.
It is my opinion that a system of symbolic signs is more advanced than a system of iconic signs because the arbitrary nature of the relationship between signifier and signified is more fluid and therefore more open to adaptation and the assimilation of new signifieds.
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She grapples with the maddening and/or ecstatic drift that plagues representational systems, the tenuous connection between extant objects and their names or pictures, which Roland Barthes called "the floating chain of signifieds.
Ultimately, it seems that Stockholder's work operates as a visual form of aphasia, a condition in which words turn into objects, in which signifiers are severed from their signifieds so that sense and nonsense bump up against one another, become almost interchangeable, bits and pieces of both drifting along.