The term 'signifying chain' (French:chaîne signifiante, chaîne du signifiant) is introduced by Jacques Lacan in 1957 to describe a network of signifiers (which are linked together) which constitute the symbolic order.
The signifying chain is compared to "rings of a necklace that is a ring in another necklace made of rings."
A signifying chain is metonymic in the production of meaning.
A signifying chain is never complete, because it is always possible to add another signifier to it, ad infinitum.
Signification is not present at any one point in the chain, but rather meaning 'insists' in the movement from one signifier to another.
The subject is inscribed in a signifying chain before its birth and after its death.
The signifying chain is the stream of speech, in which signifiers are combined in accordance with the laws of grammar.
The signifying chain, in its diachronic dimension is syntagmatic and metonymic, in its synchronic dimension, it is associative and metaphoric.
The signifying chain is inscribed in the symbolic order.
constitutes the symbolic world of the subject.