signal

noun
sig·​nal | \ ˈsig-nᵊl How to pronounce signal (audio) \

Definition of signal

 (Entry 1 of 3)

2a : an act, event, or watchword that has been agreed on as the occasion of concerted action
b : something that incites to action
3 : something (such as a sound, gesture, or object) that conveys notice or warning
4a : an object used to transmit or convey information beyond the range of human voice
b : the sound or image conveyed in telegraphy, telephony, radio, radar, or television
c : a detectable physical quantity or impulse (such as a voltage, current, or magnetic field strength) by which messages or information can be transmitted

signal

verb
signaled or signalled; signaling or signalling\ ˈsig-​nə-​liŋ How to pronounce signal (audio) \

Definition of signal (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to notify by a signal signal the fleet to turn back
2a : to communicate or indicate by or as if by signals signaled the end of an era
b : to constitute a characteristic feature of (a meaningful linguistic form)

intransitive verb

: to make or send a signal

signal

adjective

Definition of signal (Entry 3 of 3)

: distinguished from the ordinary : notable a signal achievement

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Other Words from signal

Verb

signaler or signaller noun

Examples of signal in a Sentence

Noun He likes her but he is sending the wrong signals with his constant teasing. The teacher gave us the signal to finish what we were working on and hand in our tests. Faulty wiring in the train station caused a signal to malfunction. Verb Robins signal the arrival of spring. The election results surely signal the start of a new era. A lock on the suitcase might signal that there's something of value inside. Did he signal before he made the left turn? They signaled at me to come over to their table. He signaled us that it was time to begin the meeting. The umpire signaled a strike. Adjective Is he worthy of such a signal honor? the Louisiana Purchase is cited by many historians as one of the most signal events in American history
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And all the other items -- no signal, except for sugar. Lisa Drayer, CNN, "How processed food drives diet-related diseases," 13 May 2021 Timing is the heartbeat of electronic systems, delivering an accurate, stable and regular signal — like a human heartbeat — and providing a reference for all digital components in the system. Markus Lutz, Forbes, "Siliconizing The Supply Chain Of Timing Components And Subsystems," 5 May 2021 It can be spoofed with a fake satellite signal, hacked by an adversary, or simply destroyed. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy’s New Unhackable GPS Alternative: The Stars," 25 Apr. 2021 As a result, carotenoid-colored feathers are often considered an honest signal — one that truthfully communicates a bird’s good physiological condition. BostonGlobe.com, "Some male birds fly under false colors to attract mates, study suggests," 21 Apr. 2021 Right fielder Stephen Piscotty raised his in an ‘Out’ signal. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, "A's swept by Astros in dominant fashion," 4 Apr. 2021 Lyndhurst police cited the man with failure to signal, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under suspension and driving without a license. cleveland, "Man found bleeding from head outside bar: Lyndhurst Police Blotter," 24 Mar. 2021 Its 3-chip projector design displays complete RGB signal for the best color accuracy around, while the 4K resolution processing shows a vastly clearer picture than your typical 1080p projector. Maya Gandara, Southern Living, "These Are the 7 Best Outdoor Projectors, From Budget-Friendly Picks to 4K Resolution Options," 23 Mar. 2021 The joint effort is not a signal that the two systems are planning to merge, at least not yet, said Len Simich, CEO of SouthWest Transit, which serves Eden Prairie, Carver, Chaska, Chanhassen and Victoria. Tim Harlow, Star Tribune, "Suburban transit agencies team up to ask riders, 'How can we serve you better?'," 23 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Watching the manager signal the third-base-coach baseball. Arkansas Online, "What's in a name?," 1 May 2021 According to physician Brian Gotkin, a pulmonary and sleep specialist at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., rising body temperature and cortisol levels signal your body to wake up; this process can be helped by light exposure. Washington Post, "Good sleep means more than getting enough hours. A consistent schedule matters, too.," 30 Apr. 2021 The conversations in parking lots, shopping malls and taverns don’t represent a scientific sample, but do signal how much work remains for Mr. Biden to deliver on a central tenet of his campaign: a reduction in the nation’s political division. John Mccormick, WSJ, "What a Swing Pennsylvania County Says About Biden So Far," 29 Apr. 2021 Only then did the rest of the Board go into Pied Piper mode and signal their agreement and endorsement of Mitchell rebuking the commentor. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Horse racing newsletter: Jon White’s Kentucky Derby rankings," 23 Apr. 2021 Individuals can receive buttons or wristbands that signal they’re allowed to go maskless. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, "Vaccine mandates: Colleges juggle ethics and enrollment dilemmas," 13 Apr. 2021 While White House allies signal the bill could end up smaller and focused on hard infrastructure, as Delaware Sen. Chris Coons suggested this week, the White House still contends the bill is pitched adequately. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "China looms large over Biden 'infrastructure' pitch," 12 Apr. 2021 An immune reaction to extracellular DNA is part of an ancient immune defense triggered by severe infection or injury, Greinacher notes, and free DNA itself can signal the body to increase blood coagulation. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Hard choices emerge as link between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare clotting disorder becomes clearer," 11 Apr. 2021 Imports signal labor being divided up, and labor divided amounts to labor specialization. John Tamny, Forbes, "If China Is As Bad As Its Critics Say, Then We Have Nothing To Fear," 4 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Sarah Erickson, 31, of Palos Hills, was arrested and accused of drunken driving, failure to signal and improper lane usage April 30 in the 10200 block of Harlem Avenue, police said. Daily Southtown Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Southland crime: Oak Lawn police arrest man they say made false carjacking report, and more," 4 May 2021 Back in the operations center, Gen. Zia said the distance will have little effect on information-gathering on the ground, even though Afghan officials have acknowledged that the withdrawal will reduce their capacity for forensic and signal analysis. Los Angeles Times, "U.S. troops are leaving Afghanistan, but Al Qaeda remains," 30 Apr. 2021 That catastrophe, which could have rapidly escalated into World War III, was averted only because the quick-thinking captain of the Cony sent an apology via a signal lamp, and the Soviet skipper saw it just before his sub was about to dive. Washington Post, "Nuclear Folly: A History of the Cuban Missile Crisis," 30 Apr. 2021 Wall Street has debated for months whether a powerful rebound in growth and rising consumer prices will prompt Mr. Powell and his colleagues to ease bond purchases and signal future interest-rate increases sooner than expected. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "Treasury Yields Erase Earlier Rise Following Fed Statement," 28 Apr. 2021 So to have a chance to welcome some of those fans – roughly one-third of normal levels – back into the paddock with bronze and silver badge access, will be special and signal that a unique change in life is beginning to occur. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar drivers excited for fans to return to Indy 500, but wish there could be more," 24 Apr. 2021 That signal range will provide users with a far better online experience than 4G afforded and create a sizable and solid foundation for the machine-to-machine communications at the heart of the Internet of Things. Forbes, "Why Mid-Band Spectrum Is The 5G Sweet Spot," 20 Apr. 2021 The bill requires ice cream truck owners to install safety equipment that includes flashing lights, caution signs, signal arms and front convex mirrors. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "Connecticut lawmakers OK ice cream truck safety bill spurred by Wallingford boy’s death," 15 Apr. 2021 Rather, Becerra could become an anti-trust enforcer, and perhaps be a signal caller for legislation to curb anti-competitive practices by hospitals, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and the pharmaceutical industry. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, "Secretary Of HHS Becerra To Focus On Anti-Competitive Practices In Hospital, PBM, And Pharmaceutical Industries," 9 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'signal.' 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 signal

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1800, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1591, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for signal

Noun

Middle English, from Medieval Latin signale, from Late Latin, neuter of signalis of a sign, from Latin signum

Adjective

modification of French signalé, past participle of signaler to distinguish, from Old Italian segnalare to signal, distinguish, from segnale signal, from Medieval Latin signale

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Time Traveler for signal

Time Traveler

The first known use of signal was in the 15th century

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Statistics for signal

Last Updated

17 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Signal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/signal. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for signal

signal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of signal

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: an event or act which shows that something exists or that gives information about something
: something (such as a sound, a movement of part of the body, or an object) that gives information about something or that tells someone to do something
: a piece of equipment with colored lights that is used on railways and roads to tell people when to go, to slow down, or to stop

signal

verb

English Language Learners Definition of signal (Entry 2 of 3)

: to be a sign of (something) : to show the existence of (something)
: to make a sound or motion that tells someone something

signal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of signal (Entry 3 of 3)

formal : very important or great

signal

noun
sig·​nal | \ ˈsig-nᵊl How to pronounce signal (audio) \

Kids Definition of signal

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a sign, event, or word that serves to start some action … the manager gave the signal for the curtain to go down, and the audience … cheered.— Richard and Florence Atwater, Mr. Popper's Penguins
2 : a sound, a movement of part of the body, or an object that gives warning or a command The police officer made a signal with his hand. a traffic signal
3 : a radio wave that transmits a message or effect (as in radio or television)

signal

verb
signaled or signalled; signaling or signalling

Kids Definition of signal (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to notify by a motion, action, movement, or sound
2 : to communicate with motions, actions, movements, or sounds

signal

adjective

Kids Definition of signal (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : unusually great a signal honor
2 : used for sending a message, warning, or command a signal light

Comments on signal

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