signify

verb
sig·​ni·​fy | \ ˈsig-nə-ˌfī How to pronounce signify (audio) \
signified; signifying

Definition of signify

transitive verb

1a : to be a sign of : mean
b : imply
2 : to show especially by a conventional token (such as word, signal, or gesture)

intransitive verb

1 : to have significance : matter it will not much signify what one wears— Jane Austen
2 : to engage in signifying

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Synonyms for signify

Synonyms

count, import, matter, mean, weigh

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Did You Know?

Signify basically means "to make a sign or signal". One of its synonyms is indicate; the index finger is the finger you point with, so to indicate is essentially to point to something. Significant means "important" and significance means "importance;" similarly, insignificant means "unimportant" and insignificance means "lack of importance".

Examples of signify in a Sentence

A check mark next to your name signifies that you have met all the requirements. The recent decline of the stock market does not necessarily signify the start of a recession. He gave her a diamond ring to signify his love. Whether he agrees or not does not signify.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The move signifies something of a demotion for Gerstenmaier at the agency. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Head of NASA’s human exploration program demoted as agency pushes for Moon return," 11 July 2019 This signifies that colleges are not preparing engineers well for more complex skills. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Parents’ education or family incomes are no bars for women to pursue engineering in India," 9 July 2019 Michigan director of recruiting Matt Dudek sent out his Twitter commitment signal with several silent face emojis, perhaps signifying more in the coming hours and days. , Detroit Free Press, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football and wrestling gets commit from 2020 RB Gaige Garcia," 24 June 2019 The Medusa Mother Tree, an alligator juniper named for the flakiness of its bark, has survived many fires in its lifetime, signified by the scars on its branches. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "As Woodbury Fire burns, crews fight to save ancient Mother Tree in the Superstitions," 22 June 2019 Every year, Muslims around the world anticipate the sighting of the new crescent moon that signifies the official first day of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the most sacred month in Islamic culture. Eslah Attar, National Geographic, "The sighting of the new crescent moon marks the start of Ramadan, the most sacred month in Islamic culture.," 12 June 2019 High ferns line the sides of the trail as visitors see the three oak trees ahead that signify the overlook. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "A view with three trees and so much more on top of Bull Hill in Thompson," 7 June 2019 Michelin is out with its first California guide, and 59 Bay Area restaurants earned the coveted stars that signify fine-dining excellence. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "The Bay Area’s 59 Michelin-starred restaurants," 4 June 2019 But the proliferation of MLK streets doesn’t signify a global commitment to end poverty. Wendi C. Thomas, National Geographic, "Where the Streets Have MLK's Name," 12 June 2019

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for signify

Middle English signifien, from Anglo-French signifier, from Latin significare to indicate, signify, from signum sign

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Statistics for signify

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for signify

The first known use of signify was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for signify

signify

verb

English Language Learners Definition of signify

: to be a sign of (something) : to mean (something)
: to show (your feelings, intentions, opinions, etc.) by doing something
formal + somewhat old-fashioned : to have importance

signify

verb
sig·​ni·​fy | \ ˈsig-nə-ˌfī How to pronounce signify (audio) \
signified; signifying

Kids Definition of signify

1 : mean entry 1 sense 1, denote A check mark signifies a correct answer.
2 : to show especially by a sign : make known She nodded to signify agreement.
3 : to have importance : matter “It doesn't signify what you THINK … Facts is facts.”— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

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More from Merriam-Webster on signify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with signify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for signify

Spanish Central: Translation of signify

Nglish: Translation of signify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of signify for Arabic Speakers

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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