sign 1 of 2

as in to autograph
to write one's name on (as a document) you'll have to sign the contract for it to be legal

Synonyms & Similar Words



2 of 2


as in gesture
a movement of the body or limbs that expresses or emphasizes an idea or feeling made a sign for the audience to be quiet

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in symbol
a written or printed mark that is meant to convey information to the reader an "and" sign

Synonyms & Similar Words

Synonym Chooser

How is the word sign distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of sign are mark, note, symptom, and token. While all these words 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

When is it sensible to use mark instead of sign?

The words mark and sign are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, mark suggests something impressed on or inherently characteristic of a thing often in contrast to general outward appearance.

a mark of a good upbringing

When could note be used to replace sign?

The synonyms note and sign are sometimes interchangeable, but note suggests a distinguishing mark or characteristic.

a note of irony in her writing

Where would symptom be a reasonable alternative to sign?

While the synonyms symptom and sign are close in meaning, symptom suggests an outward indication of an internal change or condition.

rampant crime is a symptom of that city's decay

When can token be used instead of sign?

While in some cases nearly identical to sign, token applies to something that serves as a proof of something intangible.

this gift is a token of our esteem

Thesaurus Entries Near sign

Cite this Entry

“Sign.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on sign

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!