sign

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UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈsaɪn/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/saɪn/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(sīn)


WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
sign /saɪn/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. an indication;
    something that signifies something else:Bowing is a sign of respect.
  2. a mark or symbol used as an abbreviation for the word or words it represents, as in music or mathematics, etc.:a dollar sign.
  3. a gesture used to express or convey information, an idea, etc.:He raised his eyebrows, which was his sign that he didn't believe what I was saying.
  4. a board, placard, etc., with writing or a drawing on it that bears a warning, advertisement, or other information for public view:a traffic sign.
  5. something left behind that indicates the presence of something else;
    a trace:There wasn't a sign of the crooks.
  6. a signal or hint that something will happen;
    an omen;
    portent:The early frost was a sign of a long, harsh winter ahead.
  7. Medicinean indication of a disease:Extra saliva at the mouth, odd behavior, and inability to drink are all signs of rabies.
  8. Linguisticsany gesture that is a unit of meaning in sign language:She showed me the signs for "eat,'' "love,'' and "teacher.''
  9. Astrologyone of the twelve signs of the zodiac:His sign is Capricorn; what's your sign?

v. 
  1. to write (one's signature) on (something): [+ object]to sign a letter.[no object]Where should I sign?
  2. to hire by written agreement:[+ object]to sign a basketball player.
  3. to write one's signature to indicate acceptance, as of a contract for employment:[no object]refused to sign with the Yankees.
    • to communicate by means of a sign;
      signal: [+ object]He signed his obvious displeasure by frowning.[+ that clause]He signed to her that they should leave.
    • [no object] to make signals;
      communicate something by signals:She signed to the waiter for the check.
  4. Linguisticsto convey or signal (a message) in a sign language: [no object]She signed frantically to him but he wasn't looking at her.[+ object]She signed the words for "water'' and "glass'' to ask for a glass of water.
  5. sign away or  over, to dispose of by putting one's signature on a document: [+ over + object]According to the agreement he has signed over all the property.[+ object + over]She signed the property over to her daughter.
  6. sign for, [+ for + object] to sign one's name or signature to acknowledge that one has received (a package, letter, etc.):signed for the packages.
  7. sign in (or  out ), [no object] to record one's arrival (or departure) by signing a register:He signed in when he got to work.
  8. sign off, [no object]
    • to stop broadcasting, esp. at the end of the day:The station signed off at three in the morning.
    • to indicate one's approval openly if not formally:The boss signed off on my plan.
  9. sign on: 
    • [+ on + object] to hire:He signed on several good players.
    • to agree to do something: [no object]He signed on as a pitcher for the team.[+ on + to + verb]I signed on to help.
    • [no object] to start a session with computer systems:He signed on to the system by typing his computer I.D. and his password.
  10. sign up: 
    • [no object] to join an organization or group:to sign up for the navy.
    • to hire: [+ object + up]Sign him up if he can pitch tomorrow.[+ up + object]to sign up some good players.
sign•er, n. [countable]See -sign-.

-sign-, root. 
  • -sign- comes from Latin, where it has the meaning "sign;
    have meaning.'' This meaning is found in such words as: assign, assignation, consign, cosign, design, designate, ensign, insignia, insignificant, resign, sign, signal, signature, signet, significant, signify, undersigned.

  • WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
    sign  (sīn),USA pronunciation n. 
    1. a token;
      indication.
    2. Linguisticsany object, action, event, pattern, etc., that conveys a meaning.
    3. a conventional or arbitrary mark, figure, or symbol used as an abbreviation for the word or words it represents.
    4. a motion or gesture used to express or convey an idea, command, decision, etc.:Her nod was a sign that it was time to leave.
    5. a notice, bearing a name, direction, warning, or advertisement, that is displayed or posted for public view:a traffic sign; a store sign.
    6. a trace;
      vestige:There wasn't a sign of them.
    7. an arbitrary or conventional symbol used in musical notation to indicate tonality, tempo, etc.
    8. Medicinethe objective indications of a disease.
    9. Linguisticsany meaningful gestural unit belonging to a sign language.
    10. an omen;
      portent:a sign of approaching decadence.
    11. AstrologySee  sign of the zodiac. 
    12. LinguisticsSee  sign language (def. 1).
    13. Usually,  signs. traces, as footprints, of a wild animal.
    14. Mathematics
      • Mathematicsa plus sign or minus sign used as a symbol for indicating addition or subtraction.
      • a plus sign or minus sign used as a symbol for indicating the positive or negative value of a quantity, as an integer.
      • See  multiplication sign. 
      • See  division sign. 
      • Mathematicsa symbol, as &fullradic;
        or !, used to indicate a radical or factorial operation.

    v.t. 
    1. to affix a signature to:to sign a letter.
    2. to write as a signature:to sign one's name.
    3. to engage by written agreement:to sign a new player.
    4. to mark with a sign, esp. the sign of the cross.
    5. to communicate by means of a sign;
      signal:He signed his wish to leave.
    6. Linguisticsto convey (a message) in a sign language.
    7. [Obs.]to direct or appoint by a sign.

    v.i. 
    1. to write one's signature, as a token of agreement, obligation, receipt, etc.:to sign for a package.
    2. to make a sign or signal:He signed to her to go away.
    3. Linguisticsto employ a sign language for communication.
    4. to obligate oneself by signature:He signed with another team for the next season.
    5. sign away or  over, to assign or dispose of by affixing one's signature to a document:She signed over her fortune to the church.
    6. sign in (or  out ) to record or authorize one's arrival (or departure) by signing a register.
    7. sign off: 
      • to withdraw, as from some responsibility or connection.
      • to cease radio or television broadcasting, esp. at the end of the day.
      • Informal Termsto become silent:He had exhausted conversation topics and signed off.
      • to indicate one's approval explicitly if not formally:The president is expected to sign off on the new agreement.
    8. sign on: 
      • to employ;
        hire.
      • to bind oneself to work, as by signing a contract:He signed on as a pitcher with a major-league team.
      • to start radio or television broadcasting, esp. at the beginning of the day.
      • [Computers.]log1 (def. 17a).
    9. sign up, to enlist, as in an organization or group;
      to register or subscribe:to sign up for the navy; to sign up for class.
    signless, adj. 
    signlike′, adj. 
    • Latin signāre to mark with a sign, inscribe, affix a seal to, derivative of signum
    • Old French signer
    • Latin signum mark, sign, ensign, signal, image; (verb, verbal) Middle English signen to mark with a sign, esp. the sign of the cross
    • Old French
    • (noun, nominal) Middle English signe 1175–1225
      • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged trace, hint, suggestion.
      • 1, 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged signal.
      • 10.See corresponding entry in Unabridged indication, hint, augury.
        Sign, omen, portent name that which gives evidence of a future event.
        Sign is a general word for whatever gives evidence of an event--past, present, or future:Dark clouds are a sign of rain or snow.An
        omen is an augury or warning of things to come;
        it is used only of the future, in general, as good or bad:birds of evil omen.Portent, limited, like
        omen, to prophecy of the future, may be used of a specific event, usually a misfortune:portents of war.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
    sign /saɪn/ n
    1. something that indicates or acts as a token of a fact, condition, etc, that is not immediately or outwardly observable
    2. an action or gesture intended to convey information, a command, etc
    3. a board, placard, etc, displayed in public and inscribed with words or designs intended to inform, warn, etc
    4. (as modifier): a sign painter
    5. an arbitrary or conventional mark or device that stands for a word, phrase, etc
    6. any symbol indicating an operation: a plus sign, an implication sign
    7. the positivity or negativity of a number, quantity, or expression
    8. an indication or vestige: the house showed no signs of being occupied
    9. a portentous or significant event
    10. an indication, such as a scent or spoor, of the presence of an animal
    11. any objective evidence of the presence of a disease or disorder
    12. Compare sign of the zodiac
    vb
    1. to write (one's name) as a signature to (a document, etc) in attestation, confirmation, ratification, etc
    2. (intransitive) often followed by to: to make a sign; signal
    3. to engage or be engaged by written agreement, as a player for a team, etc
    4. (transitive) to outline in gestures a sign over, esp the sign of the cross
    5. (transitive) to indicate by or as if by a sign; betoken

    See also sign away, sign inEtymology: 13th Century: from Old French signe, from Latin signum a sign

    ˈsignable adj
    'sign' also found in these entries:
    Collocations: sign your [name, initials, signature, full name], a [road, street, traffic, store, warning, chemical] sign, [learn, teach, use] sign language, more...

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