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sign  audio  (sn) KEY 

  1. Something that suggests the presence or existence of a fact, condition, or quality.
    1. An act or gesture used to convey an idea, a desire, information, or a command: gave the go-ahead sign.
    2. Sign language.
    1. A displayed structure bearing lettering or symbols, used to identify or advertise a place of business: a motel with a flashing neon sign outside.
    2. A posted notice bearing a designation, direction, or command: an EXIT sign above a door; a traffic sign.
  2. A conventional figure or device that stands for a word, phrase, or operation; a symbol, as in mathematics or in musical notation.
  3. pl. sign An indicator, such as a dropping or footprint, of the trail of an animal: looking for deer sign.
  4. A trace or vestige: no sign of life.
  5. A portentous incident or event; a presage: took the eclipse as a sign from God.
  6. A body manifestation that serves to indicate the presence of malfunction or disease.
  7. One of the 12 divisions of the zodiac, each named for a constellation and represented by a symbol.
signed, sign·ing, signs
  1. To affix one's signature to.
  2. To write (one's signature).
  3. To approve or ratify (a document) by affixing a signature, seal, or other mark: sign a bill into law.
  4. To hire or engage by obtaining a signature on a contract: signed a rookie pitcher for next season; sign up actors for a tour.
  5. To relinquish or transfer title to by signature: signed away all her claims to the estate.
  6. To provide with a sign or signs: sign a new highway.
  7. To communicate with a sign or signs: signed his approval with a nod.
  8. To express (a word or thought, for example) by sign language: signed her reply to the question.
  9. To consecrate with the sign of the cross.
  1. To make a sign or signs; signal.
  2. To use sign language.
  3. To write one's signature.

sign in
To record the arrival of another or oneself by signing a register.
sign off
  1. To announce the end of a communication; conclude.
  2. To stop transmission after identifying the broadcasting station.
  3. Informal To express approval formally or conclusively: got the Congress to sign off on the tax proposal.
sign on
  1. Informal To enlist oneself, especially as an employee: "Retired politicians often sign on with top-dollar law firms" (New York Times).
  2. To start transmission with an identification of the broadcasting station.
sign out
To record the departure of another or oneself by signing a register.
sign up
To agree to be a participant or recipient by signing one's name; enlist: signed up for military service; signing up for a pottery course.

Middle English signe, from Old French, from Latin signum; see sekw-1 in Indo-European roots


sign, symbol, emblem, badge, mark1, token, symptom, note

These nouns denote an outward indication of the existence or presence of something not immediately evident. Sign is the most general: "The exile of Gaveston was the sign of the barons' triumph" (John R. Green). Symbol and emblem often refer to something associated with and standing for, representing, or identifying something else: "There was One whose suffering changed an instrument of torture, degradation and shame, into a symbol of glory, honor, and immortal life" (Harriet Beecher Stowe). "a bed of sweet-scented lillies, the emblem of France" (Amy Steedman). Badge usually refers to something that is worn as an insignia of membership, is an emblem of achievement, or is a characteristic sign: a sheriff's badge. "Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge" (Shakespeare). Mark can refer to a visible trace or impression (a laundry mark) or to an indication of a distinctive trait or characteristic: Intolerance is the mark of a bigot. Token usually refers to evidence or proof of something intangible: sent flowers as a token of her affection. Symptom suggests outward evidence of a process or condition, especially an adverse condition: bad weather that showed no symptoms of improving anytime soon. Note applies to the sign of a particular quality or feature: "the eternal note of sadness" (Matthew Arnold). See also Synonyms at gesture.

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