a token or indication; a piece of evidence: The smoke curling from the chimney was a sign that someone was in the cabin.
any object, action, event, pattern, etc., that is taken as conveying a meaning: I took her silence and fidgeting as a sign of disagreement.Rising sales of disaster survival kits are a sign of the times.
a conventional or arbitrary mark, figure, or symbol used as an abbreviation for the word or words it represents.
a motion or gesture used to express or convey an idea, command, decision, etc.: Her nod was a sign that it was time to leave.
a notice, bearing a name, direction, warning, or advertisement, that is displayed or posted for public view: a traffic sign;a store sign.
a trace; vestige: There wasn't a sign of them.
an arbitrary or conventional symbol used in musical notation to indicate tonality, tempo, etc.
Medicine/Medical. the objective indications of a disease.
any meaningful gestural unit belonging to a sign language.
an omen; portent: The general unrest was a sign of the approaching revolution.
Usually signs. traces, such as footprints or scat, of a wild animal.
a plus sign or minus sign used as a symbol for indicating the positive or negative value of a quantity, as an integer.
a symbol, as or !, used to indicate a radical or factorial operation.
to affix a signature to: to sign a letter.
to write as a signature: to sign one's name.
to write one's signature, as a token of agreement, obligation, receipt, etc.: to sign for a package.
to make a sign or signal: He signed to her to go away.
sign away / over to assign or dispose of by affixing one's signature to a document:She signed over her fortune to the church.
sign in, to record or authorize one's arrival (or departure) by signing a register.: Also sign out.
to withdraw, as from some responsibility or connection.
to cease radio or television broadcasting, especially at the end of the day.
Informal. to become silent: He had exhausted conversation topics and signed off.
to indicate one's approval explicitly if not formally: The president is expected to sign off on the new agreement.
to employ; hire.
to bind oneself to work, as by signing a contract: He signed on as a pitcher with a major-league team.
to start radio or television broadcasting, especially at the beginning of the day.
Computers. log1 (def. 18a).
sign up, to enlist, as in an organization or group; to register or subscribe: to sign up for the navy;to sign up for class.
- sign·less, adjective
- sign·like, adjective
- post·sign, verb (used with object)
- un·signed, adjective
- sign , sing
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sign in a sentence
It’s the most precaution Valderruten has taken before a first date, and it’s a sign of how much the singles scene has changed in the past year.
The fact that I was even thinking that was a sign of how you start doubting your whole reality.Deepfake porn is ruining women’s lives. Now the law may finally ban it | Karen Hao | February 12, 2021 | MIT Technology Review
The stormy pattern shows no signs of stopping, with four more chances for wintry precipitation over the next week.Snow expected tonight, mainly south of D.C., before possible ice on Saturday | Jason Samenow, Wes Junker | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
Senior aides to the impeachment managers’ team claim they are seeing signs that some Republicans may be wavering and might be convinced to vote for a conviction.I was skeptical of Democrats pursuing a second impeachment. I was wrong. | Karen Tumulty | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
In a true sign that the Politico of 2021 is not the Politico of, say, 2008, the Playbook crew didn’t publish the story 30 seconds after asking for comment.
They are always suspended over a precipice, dangling by a slender thread that shows every sign of snapping.
It was hard not to take it as a sign, a personal comment on my own Jewish dating failings.
If he did, it could be a sign that our politicians are ready to resume genuine policy-making across party lines.
President Harry Truman kept a sign on his desk that read: “The Buck Stops Here.”The ‘No Child’ Rewrite Threatens Your Kids’ Future | Jonah Edelman | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Even then, most of us doubted he would show up and actually sign the papers allowing him to enter the 1992 New Hampshire primary.
Its continued presence in pulmonary tuberculosis is, however, a grave prognostic sign, even when the physical signs are slight.
Idly his pen traced upon the paper in front of him a large X, the sign of the unknown quantity.Uncanny Tales | Various
Here they are seldom abundant, but their constant presence is the most reliable urinary sign of the disease.
Waxy casts are found in most advanced cases of nephritis, where they are an unfavorable sign.
Scouts reported that Porter still occupied his camp, and showed no sign of moving.The Courier of the Ozarks | Byron A. Dunn
British Dictionary definitions for sign
something that indicates or acts as a token of a fact, condition, etc, that is not immediately or outwardly observable
an action or gesture intended to convey information, a command, etc
a board, placard, etc, displayed in public and inscribed with words or designs intended to inform, warn, etc
(as modifier): a sign painter
an arbitrary or conventional mark or device that stands for a word, phrase, etc
any symbol indicating an operation: a plus sign; an implication sign
the positivity or negativity of a number, quantity, or expression: subtraction from zero changes the sign of an expression
an indication or vestige: the house showed no signs of being occupied
a portentous or significant event
an indication, such as a scent or spoor, of the presence of an animal
med any objective evidence of the presence of a disease or disorder: Compare symptom (def. 1)
astrology Compare sign of the zodiac
to write (one's name) as a signature to (a document, etc) in attestation, confirmation, ratification, etc
(intr often foll by to) to make a sign; signal
to engage or be engaged by written agreement, as a player for a team, etc
(tr) to outline in gestures a sign over, esp the sign of the cross
(tr) to indicate by or as if by a sign; betoken
(intr) to use sign language
- signable, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for sign
A body manifestation, usually detected on physical examination or through laboratory tests or xrays, that indicates the presence of abnormality or disease. Compare symptom.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Other Idioms and Phrases with sign
In addition to the idioms beginning with sign
- sign in
- sign off
- sign on
- sign one's own death warrant
- sign on the dotted line
- sign out
- sign over
- sign up
- high sign
- show signs of
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.