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 there are no signs that Issaias will end conscription entirely. The Economist, "Eritrea’s gulag state is crumbling," 13 July 2019 Vancouver's housing prices have shot up significantly in the past 10 years, doubling in some parts of the city, although there are signs the government's attempts to bring down costs are working. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Wife of Chinese multimillionaire sues over $200,000 fine for not living in $20M Vancouver mansion," 10 July 2019 But there are no signs of that happening just yet, the source said. Adam Himmelsbach, BostonGlobe.com, "Celtics waive Guerschon Yabusele," 10 July 2019 There are so many signs of summer that are ultra-sugary. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "Overindulge this weekend? This 'Summer Mondays' routine will help you hit the reset button," 8 July 2019 But here in France, where the 2019 Women's World Cup will conclude with Sunday's final between the three-time and defending champion United States and the Netherlands, there are signs that the sport's watershed moment may finally have arrived. Anchorage Daily News, "The World Cup has been a smash. But women’s soccer still craves an elusive goal: lasting impact," 7 July 2019 There also are signs of growth in Baldwin County, where Fairhope Brewing Co. kicked things off as Lower Alabama's first craft brewery in the modern era. al.com, "Coastal beer boom: New breweries opening soon in Mobile," 7 July 2019 There are some signs of public unhappiness, however. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "Little Rocket Man," 4 July 2019 Merritt argued that the city should inspect the interior, as well, when there are obvious signs that the inside could be in disrepair. James Briggs, Indianapolis Star, "Jim Merritt and Joe Hogsett say each other's to blame for renters' nightmares in Indianapolis," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Salvini’s League signed a cooperation agreement in 2017 with United Russia, the ruling Russian party. Washington Post, "A secret recording raises questions about ties between Italy’s far-right and Russia," 12 July 2019 Sent to Geo’s CEO George Zoley, the July 10 letter is signed by Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Jamie Raskin, chairman of the subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Marcia Heroux Pounds, sun-sentinel.com, "Boca Raton prison company to be investigated by U.S. House committee," 12 July 2019 Don’t Open the Door Like police, ICE can’t enter your home without a warrant signed by a judge, as experts recently told The Patriot-News. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "ICE Raids: What Are Your Rights?," 12 July 2019 James co-founded the media company Uninterrupted, which has already signed a development agreement with Studio 99. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "David Beckham Starts Media Company Studio 99, Partners With LeBron James," 11 July 2019 As a result of Pamala Knight’s death, a law was passed in 2018 by the Legislature and signed by then-Gov. chicagotribune.com, "Man who killed child welfare worker when she tried to take a child into protective custody sentenced to 21 years in prison," 11 July 2019 The long-running gridlock in the negotiations prompted state officials to ask this year’s legislature for authority to order MIRA to sign an agreement. Gregory B. Hladky, courant.com, "Initial agreement on redeveloping Hartford trash plant reached after years of deadlock," 10 July 2019 To help pay for some of those athletic and other nonacademic needs, the district signed a 25-year naming rights agreement with Acuity Insurance. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Grafton School Board approved field turf for its baseball and softball fields. Here's what you need to know.," 10 July 2019 The rooms are decorated with flags from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, as well as drawings of princesses and papers signed by many of the children's friends in the facility. James Barragán, Dallas News, "Is Carrizo Springs migrant facility 'too much, too late' in addressing the migrant crisis on the southern border?," 10 July 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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Statistics for sign

Last Updated

14 Jul 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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