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high sign

a gesture, glance, or facial expression used as a surreptitious signal to warn, admonish, or inform.
Origin of high sign
First recorded in 1900-05 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for high sign
Historical Examples
  • That baby stare is the high sign of our fraternity--of blackbirds.

    Nobody Louis Joseph Vance
  • I'll give Weatherby the high sign an' make it back as quick as I can.

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
  • And when you're ready to have me operate—fifty-fifty—give me the high sign.

  • He passed the high sign to me, which I understood to mean "Let him talk."

  • Again did Elmer give the "high sign," and the others took heed.

    Great Hike

    Alan Douglas
  • Billy Grant, from his bed, gave the turban a high sign of greeting.

    Love Stories Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • I'm going to stay until you give me the high sign to crawl out on the bank.

  • It was the high sign that in matters of terrible vengeance the Black Hand never muffs.

    The Shriek Charles Somerville
  • Herschenrother is now my middle name, and if it's not convenient to talk, you can give me the high sign.

    Affinities and Other Stories Mary Roberts Rinehard
  • You keep yer eyes peeled till I git back, and giv'm the high sign, d'yer hear?

    Pee-Wee Harris Adrift

    Percy Keese Fitzhugh
Idioms and Phrases with high sign

high sign

A secret signal intended to warn or inform, as in Dad gave us the high sign when it was time to leave. This expression presumably alludes to a gesture such as a hand wave. [ c. 1900 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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