View synonyms for signify


[ sig-nuh-fahy ]

verb (used with object)

, sig·ni·fied, sig·ni·fy·ing.
  1. to make known by signs, speech, or action.

    Synonyms: indicate, express, signal

  2. to be a sign of; mean; portend.

    Synonyms: imply, betoken, denote, indicate, represent

verb (used without object)

, sig·ni·fied, sig·ni·fy·ing.
  1. to be of importance or consequence.


/ ˈsɪɡnɪˌfaɪ /


  1. tr to indicate, show, or suggest
  2. tr to imply or portend

    the clouds signified the coming storm

  3. tr to stand as a symbol, sign, etc (for)
  4. informal.
    intr to be significant or important

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Derived Forms

  • ˈsigniˌfiable, adjective
  • ˈsigniˌfier, noun

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Other Words From

  • signi·fia·ble adjective
  • un·signi·fia·ble adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of signify1

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English signifien, from Old French signifier, from Latin significāre “to make a sign, indicate, mention, denote”; equivalent to sign + -ify

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Word History and Origins

Origin of signify1

C13: from Old French signifier, from Latin significāre, from signum a sign, mark + facere to make

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Example Sentences

The five stripe design was inspired by the owner’s cat, and is meant to signify her claws.

If successful, it would signify a major technical breakthrough.

Such algorithms could be applied to streams of data collected over time to pinpoint correlations of information that signify the emergence of individuals.

If that’s the case, an ability to communicate may signify an ability to self-annihilate.

The shift to short-term goals signifies that companies intend to minimize the influence of quarantine on their key business performance indicators.

Visitors are greeted by a looming gothic gate, the kind used to signify that important residents lie behind its spires.

These days the charts are full of pop singers who spill their guts and pop songs that tell us what they're supposed to signify.

In other words, the important thing about the Yellow King and Carcosa isn't what they signify to Reggie Ledoux.

In Germany, red threads signify a through line to your life, a theme you return to again and again.

If the Iranians do actually accept the additional protocol, it will signify a major breakthrough.

Such an invitation, addressed either to an intimate friend or mere acquaintance, will signify full dress.

What different things do the same words signify at different times!

The prophet is commanded again to love an adulteress; to signify God's love to the synagogue.

Hence also the word was particularly used to signify any complaint or lament, or a chant at the burial-service.

Though her heart and head beat almost to bursting, what did it signify if she could but overtake the carriage?


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