Definition - The Saussurean belief that the relationship between the signifier (e.g. a word) and the signified (the concept the word stands for) is arbitrary.

Example -
There's no intrinsic reason why the letters of the signifier D-O-G (or the sound of its phonemes) produce the image of the loyal, domestic animal in our minds. The connection is a result of convention: speakers of the same language have learned and agreed this signifier evokes that concept.

Quotation -
"But it is not arbitrary that we use the word "buzz" to represent the sound that bees make. We use it because it sounds like the sound they make."
(Source: The ODLTguy)

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