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View synonyms for distress signal

distress signal

noun

  1. a signal used, or designed to be used, by persons in peril, for the purpose of summoning aid, indicating their position, etc., as a radio code sign, aerial flare, flag hoist, or the like. Compare distress call ( def 1 ).
  2. an indication, especially a nonverbal one, that assistance, cooperation, or the like, is needed:

    He correctly interpreted the host's upturned eyes as a distress signal and hastily changed the subject.



distress signal

noun

  1. a signal by radio, Very light, etc from a ship or other vessel in need of immediate assistance


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Word History and Origins

Origin of distress signal1

First recorded in 1870–75
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Example Sentences

When delivered along with drugs that activate the immune system’s T cells, these injured cancer cells appear to act as a distress signal that spurs the T cells into action against the tumors.

If you’re into treacherous mountain climbing, it would be wise to buy one with a distress signal.

She’s trying to escapeAlthough Britney said on Instagram that candles were the cause of the fire, some fans speculated, with no evidence, that she had purposefully set fire to the gym as a distress signal.

From Time

One of the captains was able to send out a distress signal, which elicited a response from Thai water police.

A nearby fishing boat sent a distress signal to the Italian coast guard, but not before the boat caught fire from the lighters.

To explain to our readers why the three shots are known as a distress signal is simple.

Matt and Dick put on their clothes and set about the work of putting up their distress signal.

Tom Plate was coming aft with none of the hesitancy of the blind, and squinting aloft at the damaged distress-signal.

Nobody had yet figured out what good a distress signal would do, between Earth and moon, but the idea was soothing.

Bracing himself against a thwart amidships Jimmie waved the improvised distress signal.

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