sig·​na·​ture | \ ˈsig-nə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce signature (audio) , -chər, -ˌtyu̇r, -ˌtu̇r \

Definition of signature

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the act of signing one's name to something
b : the name of a person written with his or her own hand
2 : a feature in the appearance or qualities of a natural object formerly held to indicate its utility in medicine
3a : a letter or figure placed usually at the bottom of the first page on each sheet of printed pages (as of a book) as a direction to the binder in arranging and gathering the sheets
b : one unit of a book comprising a group of printed sheets that are folded and stitched together
5 : the part of a medical prescription that contains the directions to the patient
6 : something (such as a tune, style, or logo) that serves to set apart or identify also : a characteristic mark



Definition of signature (Entry 2 of 2)

: closely and distinctively associated and identified with someone or something a musician's signature style a chef's signature dish Pomegranate martinis made with pomegranate juice, vodka and a splash of grapefruit are becoming the hipster drink of choice, and the pomegranate margarita is the signature cocktail at Rosa Mexicano in New York City.— Lisa McLaughlin

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Synonyms for signature

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of signature in a Sentence

Noun There is a place for your signature at the bottom of the form. If we can collect 200,000 signatures on our petition, then our candidate will be included on the ballot. We presented the document to the president for her signature. The bill passed and went to the governor for signature a week ago.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Voters also have to remember to include their signature on the envelope. Emily Opilo,, "Requesting your Maryland ballot was the first step. Now, don’t make a mistake that could cause it to be thrown out.," 18 Sep. 2020 The quarterback recently talked to PEOPLE about maintaining his signature curly hairstyle during quarantine. Jason Duaine Hahn,, "Patrick Mahomes Says Proposing to Brittany Matthews Was More ‘Nerve-Racking’ Than Super Bowl," 15 Sep. 2020 Staging the festival now would have spelled a logistical nightmare for chef demonstrations and its annual signature Grand Tasting at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, which closes the bash with nearly 2,000 visitors, Sabin says. Phillip Valys,, "The 2020 Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival is - you guessed it - canceled due to COVID-19," 14 Sep. 2020 The cub has gotten its signature black and white markings, and in a few weeks it is expected to reach another big milestone — opening its eyes. Washington Post, "Newborn giant panda cub at National Zoo in D.C. is ‘packing on grams’," 11 Sep. 2020 Using powerful radio telescopes, astronomers can measure with extreme precision how quickly pulsars rotate, meaning that each of these spinning stellar relics writes its own signature in space. National Geographic, "NASA sent a map to space to help aliens find Earth. Now it needs an update.," 10 Sep. 2020 But Don's family says his signature on those documents is forged. Richard Schlesinger, CBS News, "The Tiger King mystery: What Happened to Carole Baskin's former husband Don Lewis?," 9 Sep. 2020 In the emotional video posted to The Root, Rep. Pressley gave a raw account of her experience, from proudly wearing her signature Senegalese twists to ultimately losing all of her hair in office. Aimee Simeon,, "“Who Needs Hair With These Cheekbones?” Ayanna Pressley’s Selfie Sends A Powerful Message," 4 Sep. 2020 The bill now heads to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk for his signature. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, "Bill granting employers immunity from coronavirus lawsuits passes Ohio legislature: Capitol Letter," 3 Sep. 2020

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


1547, in the meaning defined at sense 3b


1929, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for signature


Middle French or Medieval Latin; Middle French, from Medieval Latin signatura, from Latin signatus, past participle of signare to sign, seal

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Time Traveler for signature

Time Traveler

The first known use of signature was in 1547

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Statistics for signature

Last Updated

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Signature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for signature


How to pronounce signature (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of signature

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person's name written in that person's handwriting
formal : the act of signing something
: something (such as a quality or feature) that is closely associated with someone or something



English Language Learners Definition of signature (Entry 2 of 2)

: closely associated with someone or something : making a person or thing easy to recognize


sig·​na·​ture | \ ˈsig-nə-ˌchu̇r How to pronounce signature (audio) , -chər \

Kids Definition of signature

1 : the name of a person written by that person Your signature is required on the form.
2 : a sign or group of signs placed at the beginning of a staff in music to show the key ( key signature ) or the meter ( time signature )


sig·​na·​ture | \ ˈsig-nə-ˌchu̇(ə)r, -chər, -ˌt(y)u̇(ə)r How to pronounce signature (audio) \

Medical Definition of signature

1 : a feature in the appearance or qualities of a natural object formerly held to indicate its utility in medicine either because of a fancied resemblance to a body part (as a heart-shaped leaf indicating utility in heart disease) or because of a presumed relation to some phase of a disease (as the prickly nature of thistle indicating utility in case of a stitch in the side)
2 : the part of a medical prescription which contains the directions to the patient

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Legal Definition of signature

1a : the act of signing one's name or of making a mark in lieu thereof
b : the name of a person written with his or her own hand to signify that the writing which precedes accords with his or her wishes or intentions
c : a mark (as initials, stamp, or printed name) made on a document and intended to serve as an indication of the party's execution or authentication of the document and intent to be bound by it — see also private signature
2 : a distinguishing or identifying mark, feature, or quality especially : a distinctive method of committing a crime that is characteristic of an offender

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Comments on signature

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