- a plus sign or minus sign used as a symbol for indicating addition or subtraction.
- a plus sign or minus sign used as a symbol for indicating the positive or negative value of a quantity, as an integer.
- multiplication sign.
- division sign.
- a symbol, as or !, used to indicate a radical or factorial operation.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- 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 17a).
- sign away,
- sign in,
- sign language,
- sign manual,
- sign of aggregation
Origin of sign
- a board, placard, etc, displayed in public and inscribed with words or designs intended to inform, warn, etc
- (as modifier)a sign painter
- any symbol indicating an operationa plus sign; an implication sign
- the positivity or negativity of a number, quantity, or expressionsubtraction from zero changes the sign of an expression
Word Origin for sign
early 13c., "gesture or motion of the hand," especially one meant to communicate something, from Old French signe "sign, mark," from Latin signum "identifying mark, token, indication, symbol; proof; military standard, ensign; a signal, an omen; sign in the heavens, constellation," according to Watkins, literally "standard that one follows," from PIE *sekw-no-, from root *sekw- (1) "to follow" (see sequel).
Ousted native token. Meaning "a mark or device having some special importance" is recorded from late 13c.; that of "a miracle" is from c.1300. Zodiacal sense in English is from mid-14c. Sense of "characteristic device attached to the front of an inn, shop, etc., to distinguish it from others" is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning "token or signal of some condition" (late 13c.) is behind sign of the times (1520s). In some uses, the word probably is a shortening of ensign. Sign language is recorded from 1847; earlier hand-language (1670s).
c.1300, "to make the sign of the cross," from Old French signier "to make a sign (to someone); to mark," from Latin signare "to set a mark upon, mark out, designate; mark with a stamp; distinguish, adorn;" figuratively "to point out, signify, indicate," from signum (see sign (n.)). Sense of "to mark, stamp" is attested from mid-14c.; that of "to affix one's name" is from late 15c. Meaning "to communicate by hand signs" is recorded from 1700. Related: Signed; signing.
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