sign

noun
\ ˈsīn How to pronounce sign (audio) \

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 How to pronounce signee (audio) \ noun
signer \ ˈsī-​nər How to pronounce signer (audio) \ 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

But even with this gradual shift of responsibilities, the British monarch is showing no signs of slowing down. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth's Visit to Somerset Today Has a Special Tie to Her Granddaughter Princess Eugenie," 28 Mar. 2019 Advertising There are signs that the local market has bottomed out, however. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "Seattle-area home price cool-down stands out among U.S. cities," 26 Mar. 2019 There were no signs of contractions, so my nurses believed my pain was just indigestion. Glamour, "Having a NICU Baby Is Its Own Trauma," 21 Mar. 2019 Visits by huge ships like the Hong Kong Spirit are signs of this new economic reality. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "America's New Energy Coast," 19 Mar. 2019 Moreover, there are multiple signs that the racial wealth gap is now worsening. Eric Tucker, The Seattle Times, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s untruths on Russia probe, wall, jobs," 6 Feb. 2019 The metal craftsman made famous by Chip and Joanna Gaines’s show, Fixer Upper, has been selling his signs and home decor from a 36-foot-long trailer located in a parking lot near the Gaineses’ Magnolia Market. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Jimmy Don Holmes Is Getting His Own Store Across from Chip and Joanna's Magnolia Market," 29 Jan. 2019 And there are signs that there really was some movement following Parkland. German Lopez, Vox, "How the Parkland shooting changed America’s gun debate," 26 Dec. 2018 Unusually, there was no sign of Meghan’s mother at the intimate baby shower, and fans assumed that notoriously private Doria had simply decided to bow out of the inevitable spotlight. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Managed to Secretly See Her Mom at Her Home in L.A.," 5 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After having signed with Atlantic Records in October 2018, the singer has already started dreaming of her future — something showcased in this music video. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "IV Jay's "Stardom" Music Video Is All About Overcoming Roadblocks to Achieve Your Dreams," 8 Mar. 2019 The Convention on Cluster Munitions, signed by 120 countries, aims to eventually ban their stockpiling and use. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army Is Using Robots to Dismantle Hazardous Rockets," 26 Feb. 2019 After getting signed by Island Records thanks to his various covers on Vine and YouTube, Shawn released his first album, Handwritten, on April 14, 2015. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "9 Super Fun Shawn Mendes Facts Every True Fan Should Commit to Memory," 13 Feb. 2019 Instead, the Reproductive Health Act, signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 22, bolster's the state's protections for those seeking abortions in line with the guarantees already set forth in Roe v. Wade. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "What President Trump Got Wrong About Abortion in His State of the Union Address," 6 Feb. 2019 Now workers who sign arbitration clauses with class-action waivers can only file claims individually through private arbitration. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "House Democrats have a sweeping plan to protect millions of workers’ legal rights," 14 Nov. 2018 There’s a bit more to it than just this, including the encryption of your data with a public key and a challenge signed with your private key that unlocks it. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "WebAuthn: What you need to know about the future of the passwordless Web," 7 Mar. 2019 Word of Ally's talent travels fast, and she is signed by a music manager. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Star Is Born Isn't Based on a True Story, But Real-Life People Definitely Inspired It," 22 Feb. 2019 Jordyn Woods is known for being a plus-size model and was signed to Wilhelmina International's Curve division. Tamara Fuentes And Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who is Jordyn Woods? Everything You Need to Know About Kylie's Ex-BFF," 22 Feb. 2019

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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Learn More about sign

Statistics for sign

Last Updated

7 Apr 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 How to pronounce sign (audio) \

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 How to pronounce sign (audio) \

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

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