- anything that serves to indicate, warn, direct, command, or the like, as a light, a gesture, an act, etc.: a traffic signal; a signal to leave.
- anything agreed upon or understood as the occasion for concerted action.
- an act, event, or the like that causes or incites some action: The unjust execution was the signal for revolt.
- a token; indication.
- Electronics. an electrical quantity or effect, as current, voltage, or electromagnetic waves, that can be varied in such a way as to convey information.
- Cards. a play that reveals to one's partner a wish that he or she continue or discontinue the suit led.
- serving as a signal; used in signaling: a signal flag.
- unusual; notable; outstanding: a signal exploit.
- to make a signal to.
- to communicate or make known by a signal.
- to make communication by a signal or signals.
Origin of signal
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for signaled
The cry that rose up into the night signaled a moral indictment no matter what the grand jury had said.‘I Can’t Breathe!’ ‘I Can’t Breathe!’ A Moral Indictment of Cop Culture
December 4, 2014
One month later to the day, the stock market crash of Black Tuesday signaled the start of the Great Depression.How to Save Silent Movies: Inside New Jersey’s Cinema Paradiso
October 2, 2014
He signaled that talks aimed at finding way for a new start in relations would be put on hold.Erdogan May Win the Turkish Presidency, But He'll Face the ISIS Crisis
August 9, 2014
Mitchum signaled for the rescue boat—which started toward them.The Stacks: Mr. Bad Taste and Trouble Himself: Robert Mitchum
July 19, 2014
Welch interrupted, offering a smile that signaled pure exhaustion and defeat.The Heroin Hearing That Wasn’t
April 30, 2014
He signaled to Cynthia with his eyes for help in this argument.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
Then he signaled, and a great shout came to the waiting group.The Night Riders
Bentley would have spoken to reassure them, but Tyler signaled him to keep silent.The Mind Master
Arthur J. Burks
Stubbs signaled him to let him try the shot, but Wilson would not trust him.The Web of the Golden Spider
Frederick Orin Bartlett
You have signaled the men on shore to send out a boat to take us off?
- any sign, gesture, token, etc, that serves to communicate information
- anything that acts as an incitement to actionthe rise in prices was a signal for rebellion
- a variable parameter, such as a current or electromagnetic wave, by which information is conveyed through an electronic circuit, communications system, etc
- the information so conveyed
- (as modifier)signal strength; a signal generator
- distinguished or conspicuous
- used to give or act as a signal
- to communicate (a message, etc) to (a person)
Word Origin and History for signaled
late 14c., "visible sign, indication," from Old French signal, seignal "seal, imprint, sign, mark," from Medieval Latin signale "a signal," from Late Latin signalis (adj.) "used as a signal, pertaining to a sign," from Latin signum "signal, sign" (see sign (n.)). Restricted sense "agreed-upon sign (to commence or desist, etc.) is from 1590s. Meaning "modulation of an electric current" is from 1855.
"remarkable, striking, notable" ("serving as a sign"), 1640s, from French signalé, past participle of signaler "to distinguish, signal" (see signal (n.)).
1805, "to make signals to," from signal (n.). Related: Signaled; signaling. Earlier verb was signalize (1650s).
- A fluctuating quantity or impulse whose variations represent information. The amplitude or frequency of voltage, current, electric field strength, light, and sound can be varied as signals representing information.