sign language


Also called sign. any of several visual-gestural systems of communication, especially employing manual gestures, as used among deaf people.
any means of communication, as between speakers of different languages, using gestures.

Origin of sign language

First recorded in 1840–50 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sign language

ASL, dactylology, fingerspelling

Examples from the Web for sign language

Contemporary Examples of sign language

  • Harry's first stop was Kananelo Centre for the Deaf, where he joined  in a sign-language lesson - the word 'Hi Harry!'

    The Daily Beast logo
    Harry Kids Around in Lesotho

    Tom Sykes

    February 27, 2013

Historical Examples of sign language

  • Here, by sign-language unmistakable, we were informed that all they possessed was ours.

  • In Osnomian battles we always used a sign-language when we couldn't hear anything—and that was most of the time.

    Skylark Three

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • After ceremonies magical, or more prayers in sign-language, the Mura Mura 'at once cause clouds to appear in the sky.'

  • No, we must just go off early in the morning before he wakes, and get Manuela to try her hand at sign-language.

    The Rover of the Andes

    R.M. Ballantyne

  • In sign-language I gestured to her to make very sure of the knots; if anyone slipped, she hadn't the weight to hold us.

    The Planet Savers

    Marion Zimmer Bradley

British Dictionary definitions for sign language

sign language


another word for signing
any system of communication by manual signs or gestures
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