- 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 signalled
The poll also signalled that Americans were comfortable with targeted military action again Iran in the worst-case scenario.Poll: Americans Don’t Trust Obama on Iran
January 28, 2014
President Obama signalled his move to a middle strategy in his Tuesday meeting with Congressional leaders.How To Win Afghanistan
Leslie H. Gelb
October 5, 2009
The Patriarch insisted on his staying to dinner, and Flora signalled 'Yes!'Little Dorrit
They tugged at their gold-braided jackets and signalled the honor guard.The Adventurer
Cyril M. Kornbluth
When this was done, he signalled to Brother Andrew to take off the cassock.The Christian
Then he signalled to the mate to fire the culverin of which he had charge.The Sea-Hawk
"If you go you will make me nervous—and the recital is sold out," he signalled.Melomaniacs
- 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 signalled
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.