Signify x Mean: Qual a diferença

Quais são as diferenças nos usos dessas duas palavras?

Eu percebo que mean é bem mais popular e bem mais usado mas gostaria de sabe onde posso usar um e não usar o outro.


Thanks advanced

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8 respostas
Marcio_Farias 1 24 216
Read note about usage of mean and signify below.

As the most common and general in carrying the basic sense, MEAN can often connote evaluation or appraisal; in applying to a term it involves the term's full content
"to understand what foreign words mean"
"what a person's actions mean"
"disunion, incoherence and inconsistency mean failure in design — C.W.H.Johnson"
"to understand what an obligation means"
"the term 'beauty' can mean many things"

SIGNIFY can contrast with MEAN in having as its subject something of a symbolic or representative character; it can also carry a stronger implication of the importance of the conveyed meaning; in application to a term it stresses the symbolic relationship between term and idea
"he had hopes that her demure and reticent deportment signified that the effervescence of youth had evaporated — Robert Grant +1940"
"the third figure, with a background of plow handles and mining tools, signifies agriculture and mining — American Guide Series: Michigan"
"the loss of his wife signified more than he could ever put into words"
"the term 'bread and butter' signifies the material necessities of life"

You'll more likely use mean than signify in 98% of the cases.
Thanks so much Marcio! Very interesting!
"signify" is used as a symbolic way
In music we can use this following definition:

"The note on a major scale is numbered from 1 to 8 this signifies the intervals".

Signifies in this case means "simboliza" and INTERVALS is been used as a symbolic way.
:?:
Pegando carona, e qual seria a diferença entre signify e stand for?
Marcio_Farias 1 24 216
No major difference exists between stand for and signify. You can use them interchangeably to show or make something known especially by a conventional token (as word, signal, gesture), in which case you can also resort to symbols.

"White stands for purity" equates to "white signifies purity," the latter having an advantage or economy of a word over the former.

Claudemircloud's sentence example using signify might have read well using stand for, too.

Apart from all my digressions, you also use stand for to acknowledge or declare something as a guiding principle or ideal.

"You'll do that when you and you alone stand for decency"... when you wish to signify decency.
"You will stand for your own principles and moral values" meaning "you'll actually support your own principles and moral values."
"If you won't stand for the unbearable heat in Picos - PI" it means you won't, or in anyway can't, "take" or "put up with" the heat etc., etc.

M-W's Third New International Dictionary and Chambers/Martins Fontes Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs helped me put up this post.
Marcio_Farias 1 24 216
"... the latter having..." should have read, "... the latter form having..."
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Mean - querer dizer algo.

I want to mean that! - Eu quero dizer isso/aquilo.
I didn't want to mean that.. - Eu não queria dizer isso/aquilo.
What do you want to mean? - O que você quer dizer?

;D
Muito boa sua explicação, Márcio! Em particular eu gostei do detalhe do stand for = apoiar, suportar; e os exemplos de uso. Thanks a lot.
Valeu Marcio pela explicação, muito boa! Eu não conhecia stand for, só me resta agora praticar um bocado essa expressão.
Valeu @Dude Spell pelo questionamento da pergunta.