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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Cohen was an artist who studies semiotics, or the cultural meaning of signs and symbols.
▪ Here the influence of psychoanalysis has to he taken into account alongside semiotics, together with the concerns of social history.
▪ I attempted to explain the semiotics of George of the Jungle, feckless would-be Tarzan, for ever crashing into the nearest tree.
▪ I have no pretensions to the type of expert knowledge of semiotics that students of linguistics will have.
▪ Karl Barth's theology can thus be accurately described as a semiology, a theological semiotics.
▪ Literary theory, drawing on other disciplines, including semiotics and linguistics, seeks for underlying structures and meanings in literature.
▪ Social semiotics, taking account of questions of interpretation and context, inflects the emphasis specifically towards cultural artefacts and social behaviour.
▪ This thus stands as a starting point for exploring the potential of complex semiotics as a mode of analysis of the photographic.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Semeiology \Se`mei*ol"o*gy\ (s[=e]`m[-e]*[o^]l"[-o]*j[y^] or s[=e]`m[-i]*[o^]l"[-o]*j[y^]), or Semiology \Se`mi*ol"o*gy\ (s[e^]m`[-e]*[o^]l"[-o]*j[y^]), n. [Gr. shmei^on a mark, a sign + -logy.] The study of signs as an element of communication; the analysis of systems of communication; -- also called semiotics. Specifically:

  1. (Med.) The science of the signs or symptoms of disease; symptomatology.

  2. The art of using signs in signaling.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

study of signs and symbols with special regard to function and origin, 1880, from semiotic; also see -ics. Medical sense is from 1660s.


n. The study of signs and symbols, especially as means of language or communication.


n. (philosophy) a philosophical theory of the functions of signs and symbols


Semiotics (also called semiotic studies; not to be confused with the Saussurean tradition called semiology which is a part of semiotics) is the study of meaning-making, the study of sign processes and meaningful communication. This includes the study of signs and sign processes ( semiosis), indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication.

Semiotics is closely related to the field of linguistics, which, for its part, studies the structure and meaning of language more specifically. The semiotic tradition explores the study of signs and symbols as a significant part of communications. As different from linguistics, however, semiotics also studies non-linguistic sign systems.

Semiotics is frequently seen as having important anthropological dimensions; for example, the late Italian semiotician and novelist Umberto Eco proposed that every cultural phenomenon may be studied as communication. Some semioticians focus on the logical dimensions of the science, however. They examine areas belonging also to the life sciences—such as how organisms make predictions about, and adapt to, their semiotic niche in the world (see semiosis). In general, semiotic theories take signs or sign systems as their object of study: the communication of information in living organisms is covered in biosemiotics (including zoosemiotics).

Usage examples of "semiotics".

Damien would say, is closer to allergy, a morbid and sometimes violent reactivity to the semiotics of the marketplace.

Dal ton in search of something definitive on deconstructionism or semiotics.

Is hard to get handle on their semiotics while they hide behind the lobster model we uploaded in their direction twenty years ago, but are certainly not crusties, and are definite not human either.

Let me get this straight, you claim to be some kind of AI, working for KGB dot RU, and you're afraid of a copyright infringement lawsuit over your translator semiotics?

You're the KGB's core AI, but you're afraid of a copyright infringement lawsuit over your translator semiotics?

Now that Arno had cleared the way for her, she could do anything she wanted with the Semiotics Group data flow.

The ultrafemme gowns and dresses had icky semiotics, the shops for people from cultures with sumptuary laws and dress codes were too weird, the everyday stuff was too formal—.

These are questions, not for hermeneutics or semiotics, but rather for population genetics.