One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Additional or further signification added to the basic sense of a word or phrase, typically through grammatical elements indicating tense, gender, etc.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Richard Bernard (bap. 1568, d. 1641), Church of England clergyman and religious writer. From post-classical Latin adsignification-, adsignificatio additional explanation (400) from classical Latin adsignificāt-, past participial stem of adsignificāre (also assignificāre) adsignify + -iō.
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