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 On the fourth hole, the same club member who gave the touchdown signal was telling Wrightson’s dad, Wade, and caddie about the leaderboard. Stefan Krajisnik, The Indianapolis Star, 9 June 2021 The earbuds have two noise-sensor microphones fitted in each earpiece that pick up ambient sounds before analyzing and removing the unwanted noise from the audio signal. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 8 June 2021 The Elite 11 Finals quarterback camp has become the nation’s premier event for high school signal-callers. oregonlive, 8 June 2021 Every one of the climate models updated continuously shows a hot bias for much of the USA into August, a consistent signal that seems to confirm what many of us feel in our gut: this is probably going to be an unusually hot summer. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, 7 June 2021 In 2005, three trains crashed in a deadly chain-reaction after a train driver misread a signal, killing at least 127 people and injuring hundreds more in southern Pakistan. Salman Masood, New York Times, 7 June 2021 This signal could also be interpreted as a mixture between German, Dutch and French populations – as genealogical records indicate. Jaco Greeff, Quartz, 6 June 2021 The front and rear turn signal lights may not flash brightly enough. Detroit Free Press, 5 June 2021 The signal profile for phono stages is set by the RIAA, the recording industry's big trade group. Parker Hall, Wired, 5 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Other than the same WHIP ranking, those numbers all signal improvement over a season ago with pitchers Mike Clevinger and a healthy and routinely dominant Dinelson Lamet. San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 June 2021 He was also charged with failure to maintain in a proper lane in a construction zone and failure to obey an officers signal in a construction zone. Jessika Harkay, courant.com, 4 June 2021 Any action is still a long way off, but the bills signal a growing consensus among council members that there is currently inadequate public oversight of education. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 The smell of tandoori chicken, a flash of red fabric and hands adorned with henna all signal one thing for Desi couples across the world: wedding season. NBC News, 28 May 2021 Romney was the first Republican in the senate to signal support for the bill. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 May 2021 As government officials thrash out the details behind closed doors, CEOs who publicly signal their support for an ambitious international agreement can help steady the nerves of hesitant politicians. Paul Polman, Fortune, 27 May 2021 Move beyond easy, empty gestures and statements that signal support but do not involve meaningful engagement or a sustained commitment. Megan Mccann, Forbes, 24 May 2021 Cars driving by on LBJ Freeway honked their horns to signal support as people on both sides yelled chants at each other. Tom Steele, Dallas News, 20 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Traffic researchers have proposed a variety of innovative signal strategies and complex intersection configurations to make left turns safer and more efficient. Vikash V. Gayah, The Conversation, 2 June 2021 Currently, there are 1,569 intersections with signal priority for buses, or about 19 percent of such intersections where buses cross. New York Times, 27 May 2021 More important than 5G’s speed, Mr. Franklin says, is having robust signal coverage. Asa Fitch, WSJ, 25 May 2021 These include a symmetrical amplifier layout for optimized signal paths. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 23 May 2021 The Biden administration is attempting to negotiate its re-entry into a nuclear deal with Iran, which previously had been Kerry’s signal foreign policy achievement as secretary of state under Barack Obama. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 27 Apr. 2021 The most interesting technological mechanism in the AirTags is the ultra-wideband signal tech used to pinpoint location. Gear Team, Wired, 20 Apr. 2021 Texas has seriously struggled to protect its signal callers in recent years. Dallas News, 13 May 2021 As the signal caller of the defense responsible for recognizing formations and lining everyone in the right spot, the offseason study work will consume his daily life. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, 14 May 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

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Signal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/signal. Accessed 21 Jun. 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

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