Meaning of SIGN in English

SIGN

/ saɪn; NAmE / noun , verb

■ noun

SHOWING STH

1.

[ C , U ] sign (of sth) | sign (that ... ) an event, an action, a fact, etc. that shows that sth exists, is happening or may happen in the future

SYN indication :

Headaches may be a sign of stress.

There is no sign of John anywhere.

Call the police at the first sign of trouble.

The gloomy weather shows no sign of improving.

Her work is showing some signs of improvement.

The fact that he didn't say 'no' immediately is a good sign .

If an interview is too easy, it's a sure sign that you haven't got the job.

There was no sign of life in the house (= there seemed to be nobody there) .

If I had noticed the warning signs , none of this would have happened.

FOR INFORMATION / WARNING

2.

[ C ] a piece of paper, wood or metal that has writing or a picture on it that gives you information, instructions, a warning, etc. :

a road / traffic sign

a shop / pub sign

The sign on the wall said 'Now wash your hands'.

Follow the signs for the city centre.

MOVEMENT / SOUND

3.

[ C ] a movement or sound that you make to tell sb sth :

He gave a thumbs-up sign .

She nodded as a sign for us to sit down.

—see also V-sign

SYMBOL

4.

[ C ] a mark used to represent sth, especially in mathematics :

a plus / minus sign (+ / −)

a dollar / pound sign ($ / £)

STAR SIGN

5.

[ C ] ( informal ) = star sign :

What sign are you?

IDIOMS

- a sign of the times

■ verb

YOUR NAME

1.

to write your name on a document, letter, etc. to show that you have written it, that you agree with what it says, or that it is genuine :

[ v , vn ]

Sign here, please.

Sign your name here, please.

[ vn ]

You haven't signed the letter.

to sign a cheque

The treaty was signed on 24 March.

The player was signing autographs for a group of fans.

[ vn - n ]

He signed himself 'Jimmy'.

CONTRACT

2.

to arrange for sb, for example a sports player or musician, to sign a contract agreeing to work for your company; to sign a contract agreeing to work for a company :

[ vn ]

United have just signed a new goalie.

[ v ]

He signed for United yesterday.

The band signed with Virgin Records.

MAKE MOVEMENT / SOUND

3.

sign (to sb) (to do sth) to make a request or tell sb to do sth by using a sign, especially a hand movement

SYN signal :

[ v to inf ]

The hotel manager signed to the porter to pick up my case.

[also v that ]

FOR DEAF PERSON

4.

to use sign language to communicate with sb :

[ v ]

She learnt to sign to help her deaf child.

[ vn ]

An increasing number of plays are now being signed.

►  sign·er noun :

the signers of the petition

signers communicating information to deaf people

IDIOMS

- signed and sealed | signed, sealed and delivered

- sign on the dotted line

—more at pledge noun

PHRASAL VERBS

- sign sth away

- sign for sth

- sign in / out | sign sb in / out

- sign off

- sign sth off

- sign off on sth

- sign on

- sign on / up | sign sb on / up

- sign sth over (to sb)

- sign up (for sth)

••

SYNONYMS

sign

indication ♦ symptom ♦ symbol ♦ indicator ♦ signal

These are all words for an event, action or fact that shows that sth exists, is happening or may happen in the future.

sign

an event, action or fact that shows that sth exists, is happening or may happen in the future:

Headaches may be a sign of stress.

indication

( rather formal ) a remark or sign that shows that sth is happening or what sb is thinking or feeling:

They gave no indication as to how the work should be done.

sign or indication?

An indication often comes in the form of sth that sb says, while a sign is usually sth that happens or sth that sb does.

symptom

a change in your body or mind that shows that you are not healthy; a sign that sth exists, especially sth bad:

Symptoms include a sore throat.

The rise in inflation was just one symptom of the poor state of the economy.

symbol

a person, object or event that represents a more general quality or situation:

The dove is a universal symbol of peace.

indicator

( rather formal ) a sign that shows you what sth is like or how a situation is changing:

the economic indicators

signal

an event, action or fact that shows that sth exists, is happening or may happen in the future:

Chest pains can be a warning signal of heart problems.

sign or signal?

Signal is often used to talk about an event, action or fact that suggests to sb that they should do sth. Sign is not usually used in this way: Reducing prison sentences would send the wrong signs to criminals.

PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS :

a(n) sign / indication / symptom / symbol / indicator / signal of sth

a(n) sign / indication / indicator / signal that...

a(n) clear / definite / distinct / obvious sign / indication / symptom / indicator / signal

an early sign / indication / symptom / indicator / signal

an outward sign / indication / symptom / symbol

to give a(n) sign / indication / signal

A sign / symbol means sth.

All the signs / indications are / point to...

••

WORD ORIGIN

Middle English : from Old French signe (noun), signer (verb), from Latin signum mark, token.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.