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Definition of 'sign'

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  1. 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"
       Synonyms: mark
  2. a public display of a (usually written) message; "he posted signs in all the shop windows"
  3. any communication that encodes a message; "signals from the boat suddenly stopped"
       Synonyms: signal signaling
  4. structure displaying a board on which advertisements can be posted; "the highway was lined with signboards"
       Synonyms: signboard
  5. (astrology) one of 12 equal areas into which the zodiac is divided
       Synonyms: sign of the zodiac star sign mansion house planetary house
  6. (medicine) any objective evidence of the presence of a disorder or disease; "there were no signs of asphyxiation"
  7. 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"
       Synonyms: polarity
  8. an event that is experienced as indicating important things to come; "he hoped it was an augury"; "it was a sign from God"
       Synonyms: augury foretoken preindication
  9. a gesture that is part of a sign language
  10. a fundamental linguistic unit linking a signifier to that which is signified; "The bond between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary"--de Saussure
  11. a character indicating a relation between quantities; "don't forget the minus sign"


  1. mark with one's signature; write one's name (on); "She signed the letter and sent it off"; "Please sign here"
       Synonyms: subscribe
  2. approve and express assent, responsibility, or obligation; "All parties ratified the peace treaty"; "Have you signed your contract yet?"
       Synonyms: ratify
  3. be engaged by a written agreement; "He signed to play the casino on Dec. 18"; "The soprano signed to sing the new opera"
  4. engage by written agreement; "They signed two new pitchers for the next season"
       Synonyms: contract sign on sign up
  5. 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"
       Synonyms: signal signalize signalise
  6. place signs, as along a road; "sign an intersection"; "This road has been signed"
  7. communicate in sign language; "I don't know how to sign, so I could not communicate with my deaf cousin"
  8. make the sign of the cross over someone in order to call on God for protection; consecrate
       Synonyms: bless


  1. used of the language of the deaf
       Synonyms: gestural signed sign-language

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