Definitions for: Sign


[n] structure displaying a board on which advertisements can be posted; "the highway was lined with signboards"
[n] a perceptible indication of something not immediately apparent (as a visible clue that something has happened); "he showed signs of strain"; "they welcomed the signs of spring"
[n] any communication that encodes a message; "signals from the boat suddenly stopped"
[n] a public display of a (usually written) message; "he posted signs in all the shop windows"
[n] a character indicating a relation between quantities; "don't forget the minus sign"
[n] a gesture that is part of a sign language
[n] (linguistics) a fundamental linguistic unit linking a signifier to that which is signified; "The bond between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary"--de Saussure
[n] an event that is experienced as indicating important things to come; "he hoped it was an augury"; "it was a sign from God"
[n] (astrology) one of 12 equal areas into which the zodiac is divided
[n] having an indicated pole (as the distinction between positive and negative electric charges); "he got the polarity of the battery reversed"; "charges of opposite sign"
[n] (medical) any objective evidence of the presence of a disorder or disease; "there were no signs of asphixiation"
[v] communicate in sign language; "I don't know how to sign, so I could not communicate with my deaf cousin"
[v] mark with one's signature; write one's name (on); "She signed the letter and sent it off"; "Please sign here"
[v] make the sign of the cross over someone in order to call on God for protection; consecrate
[v] be engaged by a written agreement; "He signed to play the casino on Dec. 18"; "The soprano signed to sing the new opera"
[v] communicate silently and non-verbally by signals or signs; "He signed his disapproval with a dismissive hand gesture"; "The diner signaled the waiters to bring the menu"
[v] approve in writing, to express assent, responsibility, or obligation; "All parties signed the peace treaty"; "Have you signed your contract yet?"
[v] place signs, as along a road; "sign an intersection"; "This road has been signed"
[v] engage by written agreement; "They signed two new pitchers for the next season"



Webster (1913) Definition: Sign, n. [F. signe, L. signum; cf. AS. segen, segn, a
sign, standard, banner, also fr. L. signum. Cf. Ensign,
Resign, Seal a stamp, Signal, Signet.]
That by which anything is made known or represented; that
which furnishes evidence; a mark; a token; an indication; a
proof. Specifically:
(a) A remarkable event, considered by the ancients as
indicating the will of some deity; a prodigy; an omen.
(b) An event considered by the Jews as indicating the divine
will, or as manifesting an interposition of the divine
power for some special end; a miracle; a wonder.

Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of
the Spirit of God. --Rom. xv. 19.

It shall come to pass, if they will not believe
thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first
sign, that they will believe the voice of the
latter sign. --Ex. iv. 8.
(c) Something serving to indicate the existence, or preserve
the memory, of a thing; a token; a memorial; a monument.

What time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty
men, and they became a sign. --Num. xxvi.
10.
(d) Any symbol or emblem which prefigures, typifles, or
represents, an idea; a type; hence, sometimes, a picture.

The holy symbols, or signs, are not barely
significative; but what they represent is as
certainly delivered to us as the symbols
themselves. --Brerewood.

Saint George of Merry England, the sign of victory.
--Spenser.
(e) A word or a character regarded as the outward
manifestation of thought; as, words are the sign of
ideas.
(f) A motion, an action, or a gesture by which a thought is
expressed, or a command or a wish made known.

They made signs to his father, how he would have
him called. --Luke i. 62.
(g) Hence, one of the gestures of pantomime, or of a language
of a signs such as those used by the North American
Indians, or those used by the deaf and dumb.

Note: Educaters of the deaf distinguish between natural
signs, which serve for communicating ideas, and
methodical, or systematic, signs, adapted for the
dictation, or the rendering, of written language, word
by word; and thus the signs are to be distinguished
from the manual alphabet, by which words are spelled on
the fingers.
(h) A military emblem carried on a banner or a standard.
--Milton.
(i) A lettered board, or other conspicuous notice, placed
upon or before a building, room, shop, or office to
advertise the business there transacted, or the name of
the person or firm carrying it on; a publicly displayed
token or notice.

The shops were, therefore, distinguished by painted
signs, which gave a gay and grotesque aspect to the
streets. --Macaulay.
(j) (Astron.) The twelfth part of the ecliptic or zodiac.

Note: The signs are reckoned from the point of intersection
of the ecliptic and equator at the vernal equinox, and
are named, respectively, Aries ([Aries]), Taurus
([Taurus]), Gemini (II), Cancer ([Cancer]), Leo
([Leo]), Virgo ([Virgo]), Libra ([Libra]),
Scorpio ([Scorpio]), Sagittarius ([Sagittarius]),
Capricornus ([Capricorn]), {Aquarius ([Aquarius]),
Pisces ([Pisces]). These names were originally the
names of the constellations occupying severally the
divisions of the zodiac, by which they are still
retained; but, in consequence of the procession of the
equinoxes, the signs have, in process of time, become
separated about 30 degrees from these constellations,
and each of the latter now lies in the sign next in
advance, or to the east of the one which bears its
name, as the constellation Aries in the sign Taurus,
etc.
(k) (Alg.) A character indicating the relation of quantities,
or an operation performed upon them; as, the sign +
(plus); the sign -- (minus); the sign of division /, and
the like.
(l) (Med.) An objective evidence of disease; that is, one
appreciable by some one other than the patient.

Note: The terms symptom and and sign are often used
synonymously; but they may be discriminated. A sign
differs from a symptom in that the latter is perceived
only by the patient himself. The term sign is often
further restricted to the purely local evidences of
disease afforded by direct examination of the organs
involved, as distinguished from those evidence of
general disturbance afforded by observation of the
temperature, pulse, etc. In this sense it is often
called physical sign.
(m) (Mus.) Any character, as a flat, sharp, dot, etc.
(n) (Theol.) That which, being external, stands for, or
signifies, something internal or spiritual; -- a term
used in the Church of England in speaking of an ordinance
considered with reference to that which it represents.

An outward and visible sign of an inward and
spiritual grace. --Bk. of
Common Prayer.

Note: See the Table of Arbitrary Signs, p. 1924.

Sign manual.
(a) (Eng. Law) The royal signature superscribed at the top of
bills of grants and letter patent, which are then sealed
with the privy signet or great seal, as the case may be,
to complete their validity.
(b) The signature of one's name in one's own handwriting.
--Craig. Tomlins. Wharton.

Syn: Token; mark; note; symptom; indication; signal; symbol;
type; omen; prognostic; presage; manifestation. See
Emblem.


Sign, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Signed; p. pr. & vb. n.
Signing.] [OE. seinen to bless, originally, to make the
sign of the cross over; in this sense fr. ASS. segnian (from
segn, n.), or OF. seignier, F. signer, to mark, to sign (in
sense 3), fr. L. signare to mark, set a mark upon, from
signum. See Sign, n.]
1. To represent by a sign; to make known in a typical or
emblematic manner, in distinction from speech; to signify.

I signed to Browne to make his retreat. --Sir W.
Scott.

2. To make a sign upon; to mark with a sign.

We receive this child into the congregation of
Christ's flock, and do sign him with the sign of the
cross. --Bk. of Com
Prayer.

3. To affix a signature to; to ratify by hand or seal; to
subscribe in one's own handwriting.

Inquire the Jew's house out, give him this deed, And
let him sign it. --Shak.

4. To assign or convey formally; -- used with away.

5. To mark; to make distinguishable. --Shak.


Sign, v. i.
1. To be a sign or omen. [Obs.] --Shak.

2. To make a sign or signal; to communicate directions or
intelligence by signs.

3. To write one's name, esp. as a token of assent,
responsibility, or obligation.

Synonyms: augury, bless, contract, fee, foretoken, house, mansion, mark, planetary house, polarity, preindication, ratify, sign of the zodiac, sign on, sign up, signal, signal, signaling, signalise, signalize, signboard, star sign, subscribe

See Also: alarm, alarum, alert, all clear, animal communication, Aquarius, Aquarius the Water Bearer, Archer, Aries, Aries the Ram, autograph, Balance, beam, bill, billboard, bugle call, Bull, Cancer, Cancer the Crab, Capricon the Goat, Capricorn, card, check in, clew, clue, communicate, communication, construction, contract, contract out, countersign, Crab, cue, curfew, disease, distress call, distress signal, dog-ear, drumbeat, electronic signal, employ, endorse, endorse, engage, equals sign, evidence, execute, experience, Fish, flag, formalise, formalize, Gemini, Gemini the Twins, gesticulate, gesture, gesture, Goat, grounds, guidepost, heliograph, high sign, hire, hoarding, indicator, initial, ink, input, input signal, inscribe, intercommunicate, language unit, lay, Leo, Leo the Lion, Libra, Libra the Balance, Libra the Scales, linguistic unit, Lion, mathematical notation, minus sign, motion, motion, notice, number, omen, oppositeness, opposition, output, output signal, part, phone number, Pisces, Pisces the Fishes, placard, place, plus sign, portent, pose, position, poster, posting, presage, prognostic, prognostication, put, radio beacon, radio beam, radiotelegraphic signal, Ram, recording, region, retreat, rubricate, Sagittarius, Sagittarius the Archer, sandwich board, scoreboard, Scorpio, Scorpio the Scorpion, Scorpion, semaphore, set, shingle, sign away, sign in, sign language, sign over, signing, signpost, start, starting signal, storm signal, street sign, structure, symbol, Taurus, Taurus the Bull, telegraphic signal, telephone number, ticktack, time signal, Twins, undersign, undertake, validate, Virgin, Virgo, Virgo the Virgin, visual signal, vital sign, war cloud, warning signal, Water Bearer, whistle, whistle, whistling, wigwag, write, zodiac

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