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SIGN

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does sign mean? 

SIGN (noun)
  The noun SIGN has 11 senses:

1. a perceptible indication of something not immediately apparent (as a visible clue that something has happened)
2. a public display of a (usually written) message
3. any communication that encodes a message
4. structure displaying a board on which advertisements can be posted
5. (astrology) one of 12 equal areas into which the zodiac is divided
6. (medicine) any objective evidence of the presence of a disorder or disease
7. having an indicated pole (as the distinction between positive and negative electric charges)
8. an event that is experienced as indicating important things to come
9. a gesture that is part of a sign language
10. a fundamental linguistic unit linking a signifier to that which is signified
11. a character indicating a relation between quantities

  Familiarity information: SIGN used as a noun is familiar.


SIGN (adjective)
  The adjective SIGN has 1 sense:

1. used of the language of the deaf

  Familiarity information: SIGN used as an adjective is very rare.


SIGN (verb)
  The verb SIGN has 8 senses:

1. mark with one's signature; write one's name (on)
2. approve and express assent, responsibility, or obligation
3. be engaged by a written agreement
4. engage by written agreement
5. communicate silently and non-verbally by signals or signs
6. place signs, as along a road
7. communicate in sign language
8. make the sign of the cross over someone in order to call on God for protection; consecrate

  Familiarity information: SIGN used as a verb is common.


 Dictionary entry details 


SIGN (noun)


Sense 1sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A perceptible indication of something not immediately apparent (as a visible clue that something has happened)

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Synonyms:

sign; mark

Context examples:

he showed signs of strain / they welcomed the signs of spring

Hypernyms ("sign" is a kind of...):

clew; clue; cue (evidence that helps to solve a problem)


Sense 2sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A public display of a (usually written) message

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Context example:

he posted signs in all the shop windows

Hypernyms ("sign" is a kind of...):

communication (something that is communicated by or to or between people or groups)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "sign"):

bill; card; notice; placard; poster; posting (a sign posted in a public place as an advertisement)

street sign (a sign visible from the street)

guidepost; signpost (a post bearing a sign that gives directions or shows the way)


Sense 3sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Any communication that encodes a message

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Synonyms:

signaling; signal; sign

Context example:

signals from the boat suddenly stopped

Hypernyms ("sign" is a kind of...):

communication (something that is communicated by or to or between people or groups)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "sign"):

high sign (a silent signal of warning or recognition)

whistle; whistling (the act of signalling (e.g., summoning) by whistling or blowing a whistle)

radiotelegraphic signal; telegraphic signal (a signal transmitted by telegraphy)

drumbeat ((military) the beating of a drum as a signal for lowering the flag at sundown)

retreat ((military) a signal to begin a withdrawal from a dangerous position)

symbol (an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance)

visual signal (a signal that involves visual communication)

indicator (a signal for attracting attention)

electronic signal (a signal generated by electronic means)

radio beacon (a characteristic signal emitted by a transmitter used for navigation)

input; input signal (signal going into an electronic system)

output; output signal (signal that comes out of an electronic system)

curfew (a signal (usually a bell) announcing the start of curfew restrictions)

bugle call (a signal broadcast by the sound of a bugle)

recording (signal encoding something (e.g., picture or sound) that has been recorded)

number; phone number; telephone number (the number is used in calling a particular telephone)

start; starting signal (a signal to begin (as in a race))

storm signal (a signal announcing the approach of a storm (particularly a storm of marked violence))

beam; radio beam (a signal transmitted along a narrow path; guides pilots in darkness or bad weather)

ticktack (system of signalling by hand signs used by bookmakers at racetracks)

time signal (a signal (especially electronic or by radio) indicating the precisely correct time)

all clear (a signal (usually a siren) that danger is over)

distress call; distress signal (an internationally recognized signal sent out by a ship or plane indicating that help is needed)

alarm; alarum; alert; warning signal (an automatic signal (usually a sound) warning of danger)

animal communication (communication between animals (of the same species))

dog-ear (a corner of a page turned down to mark your place)


Sense 4sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Structure displaying a board on which advertisements can be posted

Classified under:

Nouns denoting man-made objects

Synonyms:

signboard; sign

Context example:

the highway was lined with signboards

Hypernyms ("sign" is a kind of...):

construction; structure (a thing constructed; a complex entity constructed of many parts)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "sign"):

billboard; hoarding (large outdoor signboard)

sandwich board (signboard consisting of two hinged boards that hang front and back from the shoulders of a walker and are used to display advertisements)

scoreboard (a large board for displaying the score of a contest (and some other information))

shingle (a small signboard outside the office of a lawyer or doctor, e.g.)


Sense 5sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(astrology) one of 12 equal areas into which the zodiac is divided

Classified under:

Nouns denoting spatial position

Synonyms:

mansion; planetary house; sign of the zodiac; star sign; sign; house

Hypernyms ("sign" is a kind of...):

part; region (the extended spatial location of something)

Domain category:

astrology; star divination (a pseudoscience claiming divination by the positions of the planets and sun and moon)

Instance hyponyms:

Scorpio; Scorpio the Scorpion; Scorpion (the eighth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about October 23 to November 21)

Archer; Sagittarius; Sagittarius the Archer (the ninth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about November 22 to December 21)

Capricorn; Capricorn the Goat; Goat (the tenth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about December 22 to January 19)

Aquarius; Aquarius the Water Bearer; Water Bearer (the eleventh sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about January 20 to February 18)

Fish; Pisces; Pisces the Fishes (the twelfth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about February 19 to March 20)

Balance; Libra; Libra the Balance; Libra the Scales (the seventh sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about September 23 to October 22)

Virgin; Virgo; Virgo the Virgin (the sixth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about August 23 to September 22)

Leo; Leo the Lion; Lion (the fifth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about July 23 to August 22)

Cancer; Cancer the Crab; Crab (the fourth sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about June 21 to July 22)

Gemini; Gemini the Twins; Twins (the third sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about May 21 to June 20)

Bull; Taurus; Taurus the Bull (the second sign of the zodiac; the sun is in this sign from about April 20 to May 20)

Aries; Aries the Ram; Ram (the first sign of the zodiac which the sun enters at the vernal equinox; the sun is in this sign from about March 21 to April 19)

Holonyms ("sign" is a part of...):

zodiac (a belt-shaped region in the heavens on either side to the ecliptic; divided into 12 constellations or signs for astrological purposes)


Sense 6sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(medicine) any objective evidence of the presence of a disorder or disease

Classified under:

Nouns denoting stable states of affairs

Context example:

there were no signs of asphyxiation

Hypernyms ("sign" is a kind of...):

evidence; grounds (your basis for belief or disbelief; knowledge on which to base belief)

Domain category:

medical specialty; medicine (the branches of medical science that deal with nonsurgical techniques)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "sign"):

vital sign (sign of life; usually an indicator of a person's general physical condition)

Holonyms ("sign" is a part of...):

disease (an impairment of health or a condition of abnormal functioning)


Sense 7sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Having an indicated pole (as the distinction between positive and negative electric charges)

Classified under:

Nouns denoting relations between people or things or ideas

Synonyms:

polarity; sign

Context examples:

he got the polarity of the battery reversed / charges of opposite sign

Hypernyms ("sign" is a kind of...):

oppositeness; opposition (the relation between opposed entities)

Attribute:

electroneutral; neutral (having no net electric charge; not electrified)

electronegative; negative (having a negative electric charge)

electropositive; positive (having a positive electric charge)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "sign"):

negativeness; negativity (the character of the negative electric pole)

positiveness; positivity (the character of the positive electric pole)


Sense 8sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

An event that is experienced as indicating important things to come

Classified under:

Nouns denoting natural events

Synonyms:

preindication; foretoken; augury; sign

Context examples:

he hoped it was an augury / it was a sign from God

Hypernyms ("sign" is a kind of...):

experience (an event as apprehended)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "sign"):

war cloud (an ominous sign that war threatens)

omen; portent; presage; prodigy; prognostic; prognostication (a sign of something about to happen)


Sense 9sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A gesture that is part of a sign language

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Hypernyms ("sign" is a kind of...):

gesture; motion (the use of movements (especially of the hands) to communicate familiar or prearranged signals)

Holonyms ("sign" is a part of...):

sign language; signing (language expressed by visible hand gestures)


Sense 10sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A fundamental linguistic unit linking a signifier to that which is signified

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Context example:

The bond between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary

Hypernyms ("sign" is a kind of...):

language unit; linguistic unit (one of the natural units into which linguistic messages can be analyzed)

Domain category:

linguistics (the scientific study of language)


Sense 11sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A character indicating a relation between quantities

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Context example:

don't forget the minus sign

Hypernyms ("sign" is a kind of...):

mathematical notation (a notation used by mathematicians)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "sign"):

minus sign (a sign indicating the operation of subtraction)

plus sign (a sign indicating the operation of addition)

equal sign (a sign indicating that the quantities on either side are equal)


SIGN (adjective)


Sense 1sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Used of the language of the deaf

Synonyms:

gestural; sign; sign-language; signed

Similar:

communicative; communicatory (able or tending to communicate)


SIGN (verb)


Sense 1sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Mark with one's signature; write one's name (on)

Classified under:

Verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing

Synonyms:

sign; subscribe

Context examples:

She signed the letter and sent it off / Please sign here

Hypernyms (to "sign" is one way to...):

write (communicate or express by writing)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "sign"):

rubricate (sign with a mark instead of a name)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s
Somebody ----s something
Somebody ----s PP

Also:

sign away (formally assign ownership of)

sign in (announce one's arrival, e.g. at hotels or airports)

sign over (formally assign ownership of)


Sense 2sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Approve and express assent, responsibility, or obligation

Classified under:

Verbs of political and social activities and events

Synonyms:

ratify; sign

Context examples:

All parties ratified the peace treaty / Have you signed your contract yet?

Hypernyms (to "sign" is one way to...):

formalise; formalize; validate (declare or make legally valid)

"Sign" entails doing...:

endorse; indorse (sign as evidence of legal transfer)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 3sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Be engaged by a written agreement

Classified under:

Verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing

Context examples:

He signed to play the casino on Dec. 18 / The soprano signed to sing the new opera

Hypernyms (to "sign" is one way to...):

contract; undertake (enter into a contractual arrangement)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "sign"):

endorse; indorse (sign as evidence of legal transfer)

execute (sign in the presence of witnesses)

countersign (add one's signature to after another's to attest authenticity)

initial (mark with one's initials)

autograph; inscribe (mark with one's signature)

ink (append one's signature to)

undersign (sign at the bottom of (a document))

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s to INFINITIVE


Sense 4sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Engage by written agreement

Classified under:

Verbs of political and social activities and events

Synonyms:

sign on; sign up; contract; sign

Context example:

They signed two new pitchers for the next season

Hypernyms (to "sign" is one way to...):

employ; engage; hire (engage or hire for work)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "sign"):

contract out (assign a job to someone outside one's own business)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s
Somebody ----s somebody


Sense 5sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Communicate silently and non-verbally by signals or signs

Classified under:

Verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing

Synonyms:

signal; signalise; signalize; sign

Context examples:

He signed his disapproval with a dismissive hand gesture / The diner signaled the waiters to bring the menu

Hypernyms (to "sign" is one way to...):

communicate; intercommunicate (transmit thoughts or feelings)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "sign"):

whistle (give a signal by whistling)

flag (communicate or signal with a flag)

heliograph (signal by means of a mirror and the using the sun's rays)

semaphore (send signals by or as if by semaphore)

wigwag (signal by or as if by a flag or light waved according to a code)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s
Somebody ----s somebody

Sentence examples:

They sign them the information
They sign the information to them


Sense 6sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Place signs, as along a road

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Context examples:

sign an intersection / This road has been signed

Hypernyms (to "sign" is one way to...):

lay; place; pose; position; put; set (put into a certain place or abstract location)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 7sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Communicate in sign language

Classified under:

Verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing

Context example:

I don't know how to sign, so I could not communicate with my deaf cousin

Hypernyms (to "sign" is one way to...):

communicate; intercommunicate (transmit thoughts or feelings)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s that CLAUSE


Sense 8sign [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Make the sign of the cross over someone in order to call on God for protection; consecrate

Classified under:

Verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing

Synonyms:

bless; sign

Hypernyms (to "sign" is one way to...):

gesticulate; gesture; motion (show, express or direct through movement)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s somebody


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
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