Sign - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |saɪn|  American pronunciation of the word sign
Brit.  |saɪn|  British pronunciation of the word sign


- a perceptible indication of something not immediately apparent (as a visible clue that something has happened) (syn: mark)
he showed signs of strain
they welcomed the signs of spring
- a public display of a message
he posted signs in all the shop windows
- any nonverbal action or gesture that encodes a message (syn: signal)
signals from the boat suddenly stopped
- structure displaying a board on which advertisements can be posted (syn: signboard)
the highway was lined with signboards
- (astrology) one of 12 equal areas into which the zodiac is divided (syn: house, mansion)
- (medicine) any objective evidence of the presence of a disorder or disease
there were no signs of asphyxiation
- having an indicated pole (as the distinction between positive and negative electric charges) (syn: polarity)
charges of opposite sign
- an event that is experienced as indicating important things to come (syn: augury, foretoken)
it was a sign from God
- a gesture that is part of a sign language
- a fundamental linguistic unit linking a signifier to that which is signified
The bond between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary
- a character indicating a relation between quantities
don't forget the minus sign


- mark with one's signature; write one's name (on) (syn: subscribe)
She signed the letter and sent it off
Please sign here
- approve and express assent, responsibility, or obligation (syn: ratify)
Have you signed your contract yet?
- be engaged by a written agreement
He signed to play the casino on Dec. 18
The soprano signed to sing the new opera
- engage by written agreement (syn: contract, sign on, sign up)
They signed two new pitchers for the next season
- communicate silently and non-verbally by signals or signs (syn: signal, signalize)
He signed his disapproval with a dismissive hand gesture
The diner signaled the waiters to bring the menu
- place signs, as along a road
sign an intersection
This road has been signed
- communicate in sign language
I don't know how to sign, so I could not communicate with my deaf cousin
- make the sign of the cross over someone in order to call on God for protection; consecrate (syn: bless)


- used of the language of the deaf (syn: signed)

Extra examples

The sign in the store window says “OPEN.”

After you get off the highway, follow the signs for Route 25.

He ran the stop sign.

There was a “For Sale” sign on the car.

All the signs point to him as the guilty party.

She ignored me, which was a sure sign that she was mad at me.

“The company called me in for a second interview.” “That's a good sign.”

It was a bad sign that he couldn't walk on the injured leg.

There are plenty of warning signs that the company is in danger of bankruptcy.

They bowed before the king as a sign of respect.

Sign your name on the bottom line.

She met with fans and signed autographs.

Please sign at the bottom of the application.

You forgot to sign the document.

He was forced to sign the confession.

Phrasal verbs

sign away  — formally assign ownership of
sign in  — announce one's arrival, e.g. at hotels or airports
sign off  — cease broadcasting; get off the air; as of radio stations
sign on  — engage by written agreement
sign over  — formally assign ownership of
sign up  — engage by written agreement

Word forms

I/you/we/they: sign
he/she/it: signs
present participle: signing
past tense: signed
past participle: signed
singular: sign
plural: signs
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