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 Fumudoh’s signature is the sharp, puncturing question, often delivered with a conversational casualness that masks the treacherous waters underneath. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, "Welcome to Ziwe’s House. Make Yourself Uncomfortable.," 7 May 2021 As president, his black-marker signature was outsize and famously distinctive. Ben Gittleson, ABC News, "An inside look at how Donald Trump's name came to appear on stimulus checks," 7 May 2021 Her signature look is a touch of traditional kohl from Chad in the eyes. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "19 Beauty Experts on the Lessons They’ve Learned From Their Mothers," 5 May 2021 Passage of the measure in the House next month is considered pro forma, as is Mr. Biden’s signature. Coral Davenport, New York Times, "Senate Reinstates Obama-Era Controls on Climate-Warming Methane," 28 Apr. 2021 The founder of the Bengals was recently named one of the inaugural members of the new Ring of Honor, and the signature inside the jerseys is another connection to the franchise’s history. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, "'It’s fierce': How the Cincinnati Bengals came up with their new uniform design," 19 Apr. 2021 Aguirre’s artistic signature is his fluent use of impasto — the technical term for thick, heavily textured applications of paint — to communicate strong feelings. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Herman Aguirre’s powerful paintings respond to Chicago shootings, Mexican drug cartel violence," 18 Apr. 2021 His signature is, surprisingly, on the final version of the bill. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, "Why is Sen. Joe Manchin running America? He’s a most skilled dealmaker. I’ve seen it up close," 9 Apr. 2021 Hancock’s signature on the deed in lieu agreement also is a forgery, Langston said. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio law firm Langley & Banack sued after southwestern Texas ranch deal goes awry," 9 Apr. 2021

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

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Signature.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for signature



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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