(semiotics) Variously defined as a signifier with a vague, highly variable, unspecifiable, or non-existent signified. Such signifiers mean different things to different people: they may stand for many or even any signifieds; they may mean whatever their interpreters want them to mean. Those who posit the existence of such signifiers argue that there is a radical disconnection between signifier and signified (see also poststructuralism). For a Saussurean semiotician no signifier can exist without a corresponding signified—to qualify as a sign something must be signified.
Subjects: Media studies