Definition of semiotics in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌsiːmɪˈɒtɪks/
Pronunciation: /ˌsɛmɪˈɒtɪks/

plural noun

[treated as singular]
The study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation.
Example sentences
  • I have always been concerned with semiotics - the study of signs and symbols as communication - and how so many persons fail to see how misleading certain subtle methods can be in deceiving them.
  • Not all of which moves towards discursive literacy, nor is it meant to be captured solely by semiotics of language and linguistic systems.
  • In common with socio-linguistics, social semiotics assumes that language varies with social context, and also assumes that the reader of any narrative system plays an active part in its interpretation.



Pronunciation: /ˌsiːmiˈɒtɪk/ Pronunciation: /ˌsɛmiˈɒtɪk/
Example sentences
  • He says ‘not semiotically formed’ because he identifies the semiotic function with the linguistic one.
  • Literature is seen as a particularly rich semiotic field with such sub-disciplines as literary and narrative semiotics.
  • In a conscious attempt to exploit architecture's semiotic potential, the architects have made use of new technology.


Pronunciation: /ˌsiːmiˈɒtɪk(ə)l/ Pronunciation: /ˌsɛmiˈɒtɪk(ə)l/


Pronunciation: /ˌsiːmiˈɒtɪkli/ Pronunciation: /ˌsɛmiˈɒtɪkli/
Example sentences
  • Clothing has always been politically significant, creating a visual representation of a person's relationship to the state, and Fashion has always semiotically challenged, reinforced, and/or reconfigured meanings of citizenship.
  • The transcendental unity of the semiotically self-sufficient text and undifferentiated spectator dissolved into a complex series of critical and discursive relations.
  • What is striking about David's interest in Fenelon and the episode he invented to convey the moral lessons of the story is the very flexible, open-ended way that his image unfolds semiotically.


Pronunciation: /ˌsiːmɪəˈtɪʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • You can live in Scarsdale or in an ashram; you can be a court-of-appeals judge or a retro housewife, semiotician or banker, dermatologist or poet, lesbian or born-again, and you are still just one of us.
  • Even solipsists look both ways before crossing a street and postmodernists, I suspect, submit their appendicitis to a surgeon, not a semiotician.
  • In a sense, we are border semioticians and vernacular linguists.


Late 19th century: from Greek sēmeiotikos 'of signs', from sēmeioun 'interpret as a sign'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: semi|ot¦ics

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