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 Break with the left’s refusal to change the asylum rules in order to send a stronger signal of deterrence to migrants. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 18 July 2021 The actions, which involved 22 investment deals, send a strong signal that China will impose more frequent regulatory measures to keep the country’s tech companies in check, analysts said. Alexei Barrionuevo, Billboard, 9 July 2021 Unequivocally committing to a timeline can grab media headlines, send a signal to capital markets, and encourage suppliers to make investments. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 3 July 2021 Although the Chinese Air Force attempted to send an intimidating signal to Taiwan, the maneuver only really highlighted its shortcomings. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 21 June 2021 These bones then transmit the sound vibrations to the cochlea, which stimulates nerve axons that send the auditory signal to the brain. Neel Bhatt, CNN, 15 June 2021 When there's damage to the skin, the peptides that occur naturally in your body send a signal to the surrounding cells, asking for help to regenerate and repair. Cheryl Kramer Kaye, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 June 2021 But De Blasio also sought to send a signal to those who worried his agenda would threaten the city’s progress in reducing crime. Eric Umansky, ProPublica, 11 June 2021 Forgoing the inquiry would send a dangerous signal: Accountability isn’t guaranteed. Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The moves signal that Clearfield executives believe that the company's recent growth — sales were up 45% during the nine months ended June 30, after rising more than 10% in the comparable period a year earlier — can be sustained for years to come. Evan Ramstad, Star Tribune, 26 July 2021 But while the state traditionally waged its battles in court, Abbott's latest actions signal something different. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 14 July 2021 Along with other recent developments, the moves signal a new chapter of Silicon Valley’s seriousness in Hollywood. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, 8 July 2021 These moves signal an important evolution for the QAnon movement, which has fractured since Trump’s defeat, with many proponents rejecting the Q label but continuing to push ideas about societal conspiracies of child abuse. NBC News, 7 July 2021 This essentially confuses the body—your eyes signal that the body isn't moving, but your inner ears or other parts of the body say differently. Maggie O'neill, Health.com, 7 July 2021 The plans signal the airline’s intention to step up competition with Delta Air Lines Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc. for premium-seat customers, who demand more creature comforts and typically generate an outsize portion of industry profits. Justin Bachman, Fortune, 29 June 2021 Those phrases signal to employees that leaders prefer them to come into the office, and do not instill trust with employees that leaders are committed to a hybrid model long term. Lisa Walker, Forbes, 29 June 2021 Their departures signal a major changing of the guard in college basketball. Keith Jenkins, The Enquirer, 16 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The strong jobs numbers are a signal American job growth is accelerating as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Kate Sullivan, CNN, 2 July 2021 The legislation requires ice cream truck owners to install safety equipment that includes flashing lights, caution signs, signal arms, and front convex mirrors by May 2022. Christopher Keating, courant.com, 1 July 2021 In the amplifier stage, all the capacitors and resistors in the signal path were changed. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 29 June 2021 The 900-foot curved structure with a price tag of about $3 million was part of a $14.3 million Aurora Transportation Center enhancement project that also included work at various intersections, adding signal lights and increasing parking. David Sharos, chicagotribune.com, 11 June 2021 For the sun, that focal point begins at 550 Earth-sun distances (AU) at which point the node would achieve signal gain of approximately a billion. John Gertz, Scientific American, 21 June 2021 The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has installed an Intersection Conflict Warning System that can detect and signal drivers of traffic from every direction. Rachel Smith, The Enquirer, 18 June 2021 Musk detailed that the gains and filter properties on the ASIC can be calibrated to account for variability in signal quality, driven by process variations and the electrophysiological environment. Alex Zhavoronkov, Forbes, 17 June 2021 There are a lot of changes going on in college athletics, and most of them signal progress. Wally Hall, Arkansas Online, 17 June 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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Dictionary Entries Near signal

signage

signal

signal board

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Statistics for signal

Last Updated

28 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Signal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/signal. Accessed 31 Jul. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on signal

Nglish: Translation of signal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of signal for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about signal

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