- to be of importance or consequence.
Origin of signify
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for signify
Visitors are greeted by a looming gothic gate, the kind used to signify that important residents lie behind its spires.Brooklyn’s Gangster Graveyard
October 23, 2014
These days the charts are full of pop singers who spill their guts and pop songs that tell us what they're supposed to signify.The Last Great Singer-Songwriter Album
February 21, 2014
In other words, the important thing about the Yellow King and Carcosa isn't what they signify to Reggie Ledoux.‘True Detective’ Episode 5 Review: ‘The Secret Fate of All Life’ is the Best Episode Yet
February 17, 2014
If the Iranians do actually accept the additional protocol, it will signify a major breakthrough.Where Does Geneva Leave Us?
October 22, 2013
This could signify a lot of things: a renewed drive by labor, or some wrinkle in the tax code that I'm not aware of.Why Are So Many New Labor Groups Forming?
June 12, 2013
But if you determine as we would have you, and signify it to us, we shall not stand with you for a week or so.
Signify to us, now, therefore, your compliance with our wishes.
Nelson replied: "Take your choice, Hardy, it does not signify much."The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
If they do not, and if I should have occasion, I can but signify my wants to so ready a friend.
What will signify expostulations against a ceremony performed?
- (tr) to indicate, show, or suggest
- (tr) to imply or portendthe clouds signified the coming storm
- (tr) to stand as a symbol, sign, etc (for)
- (intr) informal to be significant or important
Word Origin and History for signify
late 13c., "be a sign of, indicate, mean," from Old French signifier (12c.), from Latin significare "to make signs, show by signs, point out, express; mean, signify; foreshadow, portend," from significus (adj.), from signum "sign" (see sign (n.)) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Intransitive sense of "to be of importance" is attested from 1660s. Meaning "engage in mock-hostile banter" is American English black slang first recorded 1932.
...'signifying,' which in Harlemese means making a series of oblique remarks apparently addressed to no one in particular, but unmistakable in intention in such a close-knit circle. ["Down Beat," March 7, 1968]