sign

noun
\ ˈsīn How to pronounce sign (audio) \

Definition of sign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a motion or gesture by which a thought is expressed or a command or wish made known
c : a fundamental linguistic unit that designates an object or relation or has a purely syntactic function signs include words, morphemes, and punctuation
d : one of a set of gestures used to represent language also : sign language
2 : a mark having a conventional meaning and used in place of words or to represent a complex notion
3 : one of the 12 divisions of the zodiac
4a(1) : a character (such as a flat or sharp) used in musical notation
(2) : segno
b : a character (such as ÷) indicating a mathematical operation also : one of two characters + and − that form part of the symbol of a number and characterize it as positive or negative
5a : a display (such as a lettered board or a configuration of neon tubing) used to identify or advertise a place of business or a product
b : a posted command, warning, or direction
c : signboard
6a : something material or external that stands for or signifies something spiritual
b : something indicating the presence or existence of something else signs of success a sign of the times
c : presage, portent signs of an early spring
d : an objective evidence of plant or animal disease
7 plural usually sign : traces of a usually wild animal red fox sign

sign

verb
signed; signing; signs

Definition of sign (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

b : to place a sign on or mark by signs sign a trail
c : to represent or indicate by a sign
2a : to affix a signature to : ratify or attest by hand or seal sign a bill into law sign a confession
b : to assign or convey formally signed over his property to his brother
c : to write down (one's name)
d : to affix one's name to a signed review
3 : to communicate by making a sign or by sign language
4 : to engage or hire by securing the signature of on a contract of employment often used with up or on

intransitive verb

1 : to write one's name in token of assent, responsibility, or obligation signed for the packages signed with the team for one season
2a : to make a sign or signal
b : to use sign language

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Other Words from sign

Verb

signee \ ˌsī-​ˈnē How to pronounce signee (audio) \ noun
signer \ ˈsī-​nər How to pronounce signer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for sign

Synonyms: Noun

gesticulation, gesture, mime, pantomime, signal

Synonyms: Verb

autograph, ink, subscribe

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Choose the Right Synonym for sign

Noun

sign, mark, token, note, symptom mean a discernible indication of what is not itself directly perceptible. sign applies to any indication to be perceived by the senses or the reason. encouraging signs for the economy mark suggests something impressed on or inherently characteristic of a thing often in contrast to general outward appearance. a mark of a good upbringing token applies to something that serves as a proof of something intangible. this gift is a token of our esteem note suggests a distinguishing mark or characteristic. a note of irony in her writing symptom suggests an outward indication of an internal change or condition. rampant crime is a symptom of that city's decay

Examples of sign in a Sentence

Noun

The sign in the store window says “OPEN.” After you get off the highway, follow the signs for Route 25. He ran the stop sign. There was a “For Sale” sign on the car. All the signs point to him as the guilty party. She ignored me, which was a sure sign that she was mad at me. “The company called me in for a second interview.” “That's a good sign.” It was a bad sign that he couldn't walk on the injured leg. There are plenty of warning signs that the company is in danger of bankruptcy. They bowed before the king as a sign of respect.

Verb

Sign your name on the bottom line. She met with fans and signed autographs. Please sign at the bottom of the application. You forgot to sign the document. He was forced to sign the confession. The contract was signed by both parties. The author will be signing copies of his books today. The contract should be signed, sealed, and delivered by tomorrow. The team signed the pitcher to a three-year contract. He is signed to a three-year contract.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The political display ended up online, when a photo of cheerleaders and their sign was posted on Facebook. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Cheerleaders held up a "Trump 2020" sign during a football game. They were put on "probation" for the rest of the season," 17 Sep. 2019 On the back of his sign, local graffiti artists had scrawled a few intriguing messages. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "It's Israel's election but here's why Donald Trump is the 'King of Israel'," 16 Sep. 2019 But signs of suicide can also be subtle and easy to miss, even in close relationships. Katherine Webb-hehn, al, "Advice for suicide prevention from Alabama public health experts," 15 Sep. 2019 Kelly will be given plenty of time to rebuild the Bruins’ roster to his liking, but some signs of progress would be nice. C.j. Doon, baltimoresun.com, "Can Maryland and Penn State preserve their ranked matchup? Most intriguing college football questions for Week 3," 13 Sep. 2019 The most telling sign that the city is getting more comfortable with Biber’s place in local history is the oblique line in the new Trinidad Visitor’s Guide. Martin J. Smith, Los Angeles Times, "He made this town the world’s ‘sex-change capital,’ but he’s not honored here," 12 Sep. 2019 But before that What's your name, what's your sign, what's your birthday? Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Here Are the Lyrics to Chris Lane's 'I Don't Know About You'," 11 Sep. 2019 That said, the visible signs from Tuesday’s session were overwhelmingly opaque. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Progress not visible in talks between Rick Pitino and the U of L Athletic Association," 10 Sep. 2019 Police officers in Gaziantep visited a street of Syrian grocery and pastry shops and told store owners to remove the Arabic lettering from their shop signs or face a fine, enforcing a local law that had been ignored for eight years. Carlotta Gall, New York Times, "Turkey’s Radical Plan: Send a Million Refugees Back to Syria," 10 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Most presidential candidates had suspended their campaigns while negotiations were taking place and as the U.S. peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, said a deal was all but signed. Washington Post, "Authorities: Separate attacks in Afghanistan kill 48," 18 Sep. 2019 With peanuts and Crackerjacks, only apple pie was missing from the collection of Americana at the stadium in the heart of the city where the Founding Fathers debated and signed the Declaration of Independence. Clare Hymes, CBS News, "15 new Americans sworn in as citizens before the first pitch at Phillies-Red Sox game," 17 Sep. 2019 The law does allow some exceptions to the ban, including if it is required travel related to contracts signed before Jan. 1, 2017 or for the protection of public health, welfare or safety. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Iowa joins Alabama on California’s travel ban list," 17 Sep. 2019 University officials said in a news release that Bennett did sign a one-year contract extension, but instead of a pay hike, the coach asked athletic director Carla Williams to focus on his staff and the program. SFChronicle.com, "NHL playersdon’t opt outof labor deal," 16 Sep. 2019 Kaski was heavily scouted by Jiri Fischer, associate director of player personnel, along with former general manager Ken Holland, and signed after the 2019 World Championship. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "How new Detroit Red Wings forward Adam Erne can earn a roster spot," 15 Sep. 2019 Mr Bishop, overcoming a reflexive Republican aversion to handouts, sponsored a bill signed into law in July in North Carolina’s statehouse to funnel money for health care and poverty alleviation to the Lumbee. The Economist, "What a Republican victory in North Carolina means for 2020," 14 Sep. 2019 Bivins will share his knowledge of the past, present and future of Houston’s real estate industry in a presentation and Q&A from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Rotunda area, followed by a book signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Inner Hub. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Business calendar: Upcoming events in the area," 13 Sep. 2019 Meadors was with the team throughout the preseason before being waived and then signed to the practice squad. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Vikings place WR Josh Doctson on IR, elevate CB Nate Meadors from practice squad," 12 Sep. 2019

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

Noun

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

Verb

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

History and Etymology for sign

Noun

Middle English signe, from Anglo-French, from Latin signum mark, token, sign, image, seal; perhaps akin to Latin secare to cut — more at saw

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French signer, from Latin signare to mark, sign, seal, from signum

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Learn More about sign

Statistics for sign

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sign

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

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More Definitions for sign

sign

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a piece of paper, wood, etc., with words or pictures on it that gives information about something
: something (such as an action or event) which shows that something else exists, is true, or will happen
: a motion, action, or movement that you use to express a thought, command, or wish

sign

verb

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

: to write (your name) on something
: to write your name on (something) especially to show that you accept, agree with, or will be responsible for something
: to hire (someone) to do something especially by having that person sign a contract

sign

noun
\ ˈsīn How to pronounce sign (audio) \

Kids Definition of sign

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a motion, action, or movement of the hand that means something The teacher made a sign for them to be quiet.
2 : a public notice that advertises something or gives information a stop sign
3 : something that indicates what is present or is to come the first signs of spring
4 : a symbol (as + or ÷) indicating a mathematical operation
5 : one of the twelve parts of the zodiac

sign

verb
signed; signing

Kids Definition of sign (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to put a signature on to show acceptance, agreement, or responsibility His boss signed the order form.
2 : to communicate by using sign language
3 : to represent or show by a motion, action, or movement
4 : to make or place a sign on
sign up
: to sign someone's name in order to get, do, or take something I signed up to go.

sign

noun
\ ˈsīn How to pronounce sign (audio) \

Medical Definition of sign

1 : one of a set of gestures used to represent language
2 : an objective evidence of disease especially as observed and interpreted by the physician rather than by the patient or lay observer narrow retinal vessels are a sign of arteriosclerosis — see brudzinski sign, chvostek's sign, homans' sign, kernig sign, physical sign, placental sign, romberg's sign, tinel's sign, vital signs, von graefe's sign — compare symptom

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Legal Definition of sign

1 : to affix a signature to : ratify or attest by hand or seal sign a bill into law specifically : to write or mark something (as a signature) on (a document) as an acknowledgment of one's intention to be bound by it
2 : to assign or convey formally signed the property over to his brother

Other Words from sign

signer noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on sign

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sign

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sign

Spanish Central: Translation of sign

Nglish: Translation of sign for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sign for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sign

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