Definition - In semiotics, the smallest unit of distinguishable meaning.

Example -
A word, a mathematical symbol, an image, and a gesture

Etymology -
The word derives via Old French from the Latin signum, mark or symbol.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation for the sense "a symbol having some special importance" is from circa 1290:
"Heo made þe signe of þe croiz."
(S. Eng. Leg. I. 84 )

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