sign

noun
\ ˈsīn \

Definition of sign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a motion or gesture by which a thought is expressed or a command or wish made known
c : a fundamental linguistic unit that designates an object or relation or has a purely syntactic function signs include words, morphemes, and punctuation
d : one of a set of gestures used to represent language also : sign language
2 : a mark having a conventional meaning and used in place of words or to represent a complex notion
3 : one of the 12 divisions of the zodiac
4a(1) : a character (such as a flat or sharp) used in musical notation
(2) : segno
b : a character (such as ÷) indicating a mathematical operation also : one of two characters + and − that form part of the symbol of a number and characterize it as positive or negative
5a : a display (such as a lettered board or a configuration of neon tubing) used to identify or advertise a place of business or a product
b : a posted command, warning, or direction
c : signboard
6a : something material or external that stands for or signifies something spiritual
b : something indicating the presence or existence of something else signs of success a sign of the times
c : presage, portent signs of an early spring
d : an objective evidence of plant or animal disease
7 plural usually sign : traces of a usually wild animal red fox sign

sign

verb
signed; signing; signs

Definition of sign (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

b : to place a sign on or mark by signs sign a trail
c : to represent or indicate by a sign
2a : to affix a signature to : ratify or attest by hand or seal sign a bill into law sign a confession
b : to assign or convey formally signed over his property to his brother
c : to write down (one's name)
d : to affix one's name to a signed review
3 : to communicate by making a sign or by sign language
4 : to engage or hire by securing the signature of on a contract of employment often used with up or on

intransitive verb

1 : to write one's name in token of assent, responsibility, or obligation signed for the packages signed with the team for one season
2a : to make a sign or signal
b : to use sign language

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Other Words from sign

Verb

signee \ ˌsī-​ˈnē \ noun
signer \ ˈsī-​nər \ noun

Synonyms for sign

Synonyms: Noun

gesticulation, gesture, mime, pantomime, signal

Synonyms: Verb

autograph, ink, subscribe

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Choose the Right Synonym for sign

Noun

sign, mark, token, note, symptom mean a discernible indication of what is not itself directly perceptible. sign applies to any indication to be perceived by the senses or the reason. encouraging signs for the economy mark suggests something impressed on or inherently characteristic of a thing often in contrast to general outward appearance. a mark of a good upbringing token applies to something that serves as a proof of something intangible. this gift is a token of our esteem note suggests a distinguishing mark or characteristic. a note of irony in her writing symptom suggests an outward indication of an internal change or condition. rampant crime is a symptom of that city's decay

Examples of sign in a Sentence

Noun

The sign in the store window says “OPEN.” After you get off the highway, follow the signs for Route 25. He ran the stop sign. There was a “For Sale” sign on the car. All the signs point to him as the guilty party. She ignored me, which was a sure sign that she was mad at me. “The company called me in for a second interview.” “That's a good sign.” It was a bad sign that he couldn't walk on the injured leg. There are plenty of warning signs that the company is in danger of bankruptcy. They bowed before the king as a sign of respect.

Verb

Sign your name on the bottom line. She met with fans and signed autographs. Please sign at the bottom of the application. You forgot to sign the document. He was forced to sign the confession. The contract was signed by both parties. The author will be signing copies of his books today. The contract should be signed, sealed, and delivered by tomorrow. The team signed the pitcher to a three-year contract. He is signed to a three-year contract.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Good sign or not, one thing is clear: Morning sickness can be a truly sucky experience. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is It True That Morning Sickness Means Something Good During Pregnancy?," 10 Jan. 2019 The film's release date has been continually pushed back, though, which isn't a promising sign. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Sci-Fi Film Guide," 3 Jan. 2019 Lumber, materials, and a dumpster may show up in your driveway, which is a sure sign the work is about to start. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "How Long It Takes To Renovate Every Single Room In Your House," 26 Dec. 2018 When people have a specific combination of these drivers, which interact differently from one person to the next, the signs and symptoms of the disease emerge. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 In their sparsely furnished apartment in a working-class neighborhood here, there are a few signs of the holidays: a poinsettia, pine branches and bags of presents from their attorney. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "After Separation at Border, a Family Celebrates First Holidays in U.S.," 24 Dec. 2018 But then the Large Hadron Collider came along and found that there might be signs of this material in collisions with light atoms. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quark-gluon plasma reveals viscosity-free properties," 19 Dec. 2018 Isotopes such as iron-60 are telltale signs of exploding star events, as are subatomic particles called muons, which form when cosmic radiation interacts with the atmosphere. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Exploding Stars Might Have Brought an End to the Prehistoric Megalodon," 14 Dec. 2018 But there are signs that China is undergoing a significant slowdown, partially because of President Donald Trump’s trade war. Alex Ward, Vox, "Everyone warns of China’s rise. But its decline could be even worse.," 12 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

On December 21, 2018, President Trump signed First Step into law, which did not include any forgiving measures for immigrants like Daisy’s father. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "Why Doesn't Criminal Justice Reform Doesn't Include Immigration Law?," 9 Jan. 2019 But Alabama signed four highly rated west coast players last winter and is expected to land a 2019 gem: Henry To’oto’o, from Concord (Calif.) De La Salle, the No. Jon Wilner Pac-12 Hotline, The Seattle Times, "The Pac-12 is at risk of losing its recruiting foothold on the West Coast, and Alabama smells blood," 7 Jan. 2019 In 2015, the company signed a deal with the Chinese government to be a small demonstration plant to be constructed by 2022. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Bill Gates's Experimental Nuclear Power Plant Halts Construction in China," 2 Jan. 2019 Nuro competitor Udelv recently signed a deal to use its self-driving vans to make deliveries for auto-parts supplier XL Parts. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "The hype around driverless cars came crashing down in 2018," 30 Dec. 2018 As announced on the 14-year-old singer's Twitter page, Courtney has official signed a record deal with Arista Records in partnership with Simon Cowell's Syco music label. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'AGT' Star Courtney Hadwin Just Got the Record Deal of a Lifetime Thanks to Simon Cowell," 18 Dec. 2018 Megyn had signed a three-year $69 million contract with the news organization when first coming on in 2017. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Here's What Megyn Kelly Is Doing Now That She's No Longer on 'Today'," 18 Dec. 2018 Republicans have a 236-197 House majority, but only one House Republican has signed the petition. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Net neutrality bill 38 votes short in Congress, and time has almost run out," 11 Dec. 2018 Trump has already signed a number of government spending bills into law. Tara Golshan, Vox, "The fiery meeting between Trump, Schumer, and Pelosi about the border wall, explained," 11 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sign.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sign

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for sign

Noun

Middle English signe, from Anglo-French, from Latin signum mark, token, sign, image, seal; perhaps akin to Latin secare to cut — more at saw

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French signer, from Latin signare to mark, sign, seal, from signum

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Statistics for sign

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sign

The first known use of sign was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for sign

sign

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of paper, wood, etc., with words or pictures on it that gives information about something

: something (such as an action or event) which shows that something else exists, is true, or will happen

: a motion, action, or movement that you use to express a thought, command, or wish

sign

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sign (Entry 2 of 2)

: to write (your name) on something

: to write your name on (something) especially to show that you accept, agree with, or will be responsible for something

: to hire (someone) to do something especially by having that person sign a contract

sign

noun
\ ˈsīn \

Kids Definition of sign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a motion, action, or movement of the hand that means something The teacher made a sign for them to be quiet.
2 : a public notice that advertises something or gives information a stop sign
3 : something that indicates what is present or is to come the first signs of spring
4 : a symbol (as + or ÷) indicating a mathematical operation
5 : one of the twelve parts of the zodiac

sign

verb
signed; signing

Kids Definition of sign (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put a signature on to show acceptance, agreement, or responsibility His boss signed the order form.
2 : to communicate by using sign language
3 : to represent or show by a motion, action, or movement
4 : to make or place a sign on
sign up
: to sign someone's name in order to get, do, or take something I signed up to go.

sign

noun
\ ˈsīn \

Medical Definition of sign

1 : one of a set of gestures used to represent language
2 : an objective evidence of disease especially as observed and interpreted by the physician rather than by the patient or lay observer narrow retinal vessels are a sign of arteriosclerosis — see brudzinski sign, chvostek's sign, homans' sign, kernig sign, physical sign, placental sign, romberg's sign, tinel's sign, vital signs, von graefe's sign — compare symptom

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Legal Definition of sign

1 : to affix a signature to : ratify or attest by hand or seal sign a bill into law specifically : to write or mark something (as a signature) on (a document) as an acknowledgment of one's intention to be bound by it
2 : to assign or convey formally signed the property over to his brother

Other Words from sign

signer noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on sign

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sign

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sign

Spanish Central: Translation of sign

Nglish: Translation of sign for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sign for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sign

Comments on sign

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