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

One warning sign of a financial bubble is the arrival of nontraditional investors with enough buying power to skew valuations. Lauren Silva Laughlin, WSJ, "Saudis’ Sand Hill Joy Ride Spells Trouble," 16 May 2019 As a result, many Latinx people, NAMI notes, don’t know what the signs and symptoms of mental illness are, or how to seek help. Christian Becerra, Teen Vogue, "Why Latinx People Need Better Mental Health Support," 14 May 2019 Until then, here are all the signs that Zendaya and Tom are definitely a thing. 1. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "All the Signs That Zendaya and Tom Holland Are Dating," 10 May 2019 Learning how to notice these signs is key in preventing an outburst or regrettable behavior. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "How to Deal With Anger in a Healthy Way," 18 Jan. 2019 Amid a shaky marketplace, investors are eyeing the yield curve for signs of economic stability. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "A Growth Surprise Could Shock Markets," 8 Apr. 2019 Look for signs that spell out a clear mission statement. Anne D'innocenzio, The Seattle Times, "You’ve Kondo’d; now what to do with all that unwanted stuff," 26 Mar. 2019 Back at the hotel, Demi and Sydney are showing signs of mid-season fatigue, and when the group date card has their names on it, they're crushed. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "'The Bachelor' Recap: An Exercise In Waiting for Colton to Jump the Fence," 12 Feb. 2019 And teenage brains can show signs of CTE, as a study of four brains from deceased teenagers who died within a few weeks of sustaining a head injury showed (the teenagers had died of either suicide or brain swelling). Brian Resnick, Vox, "What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain," 4 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

According to the The Library of Congress, Veterans Day was first observed on November 11, 1919 — one year after the Allies and Germans signed a ceasefire agreement, marking the end of World War I. Andra Chantim, Good Housekeeping, "How Memorial Day Is Different Than Veterans Day," 11 May 2019 Just last year, Van Bramer joined dozens of other local politicians in signing a plea for Bezos to bring his company to New York City. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018 After learning how to play guitar from YouTube tutorials, the heartthrob blew up on social media and ended up getting signed to Island Records in 2014 and releasing his first album in 2015. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "You Won't Believe How Big Shawn Mendes' Net Worth Is!," 19 Apr. 2019 The Utah native completed another World Major Marathon, qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials, and signed with three sponsors, officially becoming a professional runner. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How Sarah Sellers Went From Surprise Podium Finisher at the Boston Marathon to Pro Athlete," 8 Apr. 2019 Maine Governor Janet Mills signed a law in late March that allows cannabidiol to be treated as a food rather than a medicine, which means CBD is the same under federal and state law. Meredith Clark, Marie Claire, "Is CBD Even Legal Where You Live?," 12 Apr. 2019 The governors in Mississippi and Kentucky signed fetal heartbeat measures into law in recent weeks, and other states — including Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas — are expected to approve similar measures this year. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Georgia's Six-Week Abortion Ban Claims to "Value Life"," 4 Apr. 2019 Finally, several decades later, on May 1, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed Proclamation 4127, which declared Father's Day as a national holiday, with the first official celebration on June 18, 1972. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "When Is Father's Day? Here's How Long You Have to Pick out the Perfect Gift for Dad," 3 Apr. 2019 In 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act to abolish wage disparity based on gender. Emily Farra, Vogue, "21 Reasons to Wear Red for Equal Pay Day," 2 Apr. 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

19 May 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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