- an apparatus for conveying information by means of visual signals, as a light whose position may be changed.
- any of various devices for signaling by changing the position of a light, flag, etc.
- a system of signaling, especially a system by which a special flag is held in each hand and various positions of the arms indicate specific letters, numbers, etc.
- to signal by semaphore or by some system of flags.
Origin of semaphore
1810–20; < Greek sêma sign + -phore
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for semaphoric
- an apparatus for conveying information by means of visual signals, as with movable arms or railway signals, flags, etc
- a system of signalling by holding a flag in each hand and moving the arms to designated positions to denote each letter of the alphabet
- to signal (information) by means of semaphore
C19: via French, from Greek sēma a signal + -phore
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for semaphoric
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper