| Definition -
According to Saussure, language consists of signs and every sign contains two parts:
(1) the signifier: The sequence of letters or phonemes that make up the sign (e.g. D-O-G).
(2) the signified: The concept that appears in our minds when we read or hear the signifier (e.g. loyal furry animal).
Note: Both have a referent, the actual real-world thing that is represented by the sign.
Etymology - The word derives from the Latin signum, mark, token, indication, or symbol.