- anything that serves to indicate, warn, direct, command, or the like, as a light, a gesture, an act, etc.: a traffic signal; a signal to leave.
- anything agreed upon or understood as the occasion for concerted action.
- an act, event, or the like that causes or incites some action: The unjust execution was the signal for revolt.
- a token; indication.
- Electronics. an electrical quantity or effect, as current, voltage, or electromagnetic waves, that can be varied in such a way as to convey information.
- Cards. a play that reveals to one's partner a wish that he or she continue or discontinue the suit led.
- serving as a signal; used in signaling: a signal flag.
- unusual; notable; outstanding: a signal exploit.
- to make a signal to.
- to communicate or make known by a signal.
- to make communication by a signal or signals.
Origin of signal
SynonymsSee more synonyms for signal on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for signaling
You go into hyperalert mode until the threat passes, and other hormones shut down your signaling loop.We're Talking About Depression All Wrong
August 20, 2014
“Ahhhmm-hmmmm,” our ranger periodically grunts, signaling our friendly intentions.Can Gorillas Save the Democratic Republic of the Congo?
April 28, 2014
Vitter has been holding a series of town-hall meetings and tele-town-hall meetings, signaling the obvious intention.There’s No Getting Rid of David Vitter, America’s Most Contemptible Senator
January 22, 2014
Bill Clinton tried to connect to voters by signaling his love of classic rock.President Obama Needs Kanye West
December 26, 2013
Doubly so since the DEA just moved to ban three more synthetic drugs, signaling a widening crackdown on the designer drug market.When Synthetic Pot Kills
November 21, 2013
The lower light, doubtless, is signaling information about us to the higher.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
She must also be able to communicate and receive messages by signaling.Educational Work of the Girl Scouts
Louise Stevens Bryant
It's the only thing up there in the sky that answers the sun's signaling.Miss Pat at School
Her guard was signaling that the time allotted for her visit was over.The Red Cross Girls with the Russian Army
They had fired a gun; they were signaling to him—Clarence—like a grown-up man.A Waif of the Plains
- any sign, gesture, token, etc, that serves to communicate information
- anything that acts as an incitement to actionthe rise in prices was a signal for rebellion
- a variable parameter, such as a current or electromagnetic wave, by which information is conveyed through an electronic circuit, communications system, etc
- the information so conveyed
- (as modifier)signal strength; a signal generator
- distinguished or conspicuous
- used to give or act as a signal
- to communicate (a message, etc) to (a person)
Word Origin and History for signaling
late 14c., "visible sign, indication," from Old French signal, seignal "seal, imprint, sign, mark," from Medieval Latin signale "a signal," from Late Latin signalis (adj.) "used as a signal, pertaining to a sign," from Latin signum "signal, sign" (see sign (n.)). Restricted sense "agreed-upon sign (to commence or desist, etc.) is from 1590s. Meaning "modulation of an electric current" is from 1855.
"remarkable, striking, notable" ("serving as a sign"), 1640s, from French signalé, past participle of signaler "to distinguish, signal" (see signal (n.)).
1805, "to make signals to," from signal (n.). Related: Signaled; signaling. Earlier verb was signalize (1650s).
- A fluctuating quantity or impulse whose variations represent information. The amplitude or frequency of voltage, current, electric field strength, light, and sound can be varied as signals representing information.