semaphore

2 ENTRIES FOUND:

1sem·a·phore

noun \ˈse-mə-ˌfr\

: a system used for sending signals by using two flags that are held in your hands

Full Definition of SEMAPHORE

1
:  an apparatus for visual signaling (as by the position of one or more movable arms)
2
:  a system of visual signaling by two flags held one in each hand

Illustration of SEMAPHORE

Origin of SEMAPHORE

Greek sēma sign, signal + International Scientific Vocabulary -phore
First Known Use: 1816

2semaphore

verb
semaphoredsemaphor·ing

Definition of SEMAPHORE

transitive verb
:  to convey (information) by or as if by semaphore
intransitive verb
:  to send signals by or as if by semaphore

First Known Use of SEMAPHORE

1893

semaphore

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Method of visual signaling, usually with flags or lights. Before radio, a semaphore system was widely used to send messages between ships. A person would stand with arms extended, moving two flags to specific angles to indicate letters or numbers. Before the invention of the telegraph, semaphore signaling with lights on high towers was used to transmit messages between distant points; messages were read by telescope. Modern semaphores have included movable arms or rows of light simulating arms, displayed from towers and used to signal railroad trains.

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