Meaning of SIGN in English




1. a written sign that gives instructions or information

2. a picture or shape that has a particular meaning


3. a movement or sound that you make to tell someone something

4. to make a movement or sound to tell someone something


5. something that shows what is true or what is happening


see also





1. a written sign that gives instructions or information

▷ sign /saɪn/ [countable noun]

▪ There was a big sign above the entrance.

▪ A neon sign flashed on and off in the window.

▪ Didn’t you see the ‘No smoking’ sign?

▪ Turn left and then follow the signs till you get to the freeway.

traffic/road sign

a sign that gives information to drivers

▪ Out in the desert there are hardly any road signs along the highway.

▷ notice /ˈnəʊtɪs, ˈnəʊtəs/ [countable noun] especially British

a piece of paper giving instructions or information, that is put in a place where people can see it :

▪ The details of the trip are on that notice over there.

put up a notice

▪ I’ll put up a notice about the meeting on the bulletin board.

take down a notice

▪ Now that the sale is over someone needs to take down the notices.

▷ poster /ˈpəʊstəʳ/ [countable noun]

a large printed piece of paper that is put on a wall in a public place, and that gives information about something that is going to happen, for example a film or concert :

▪ Sandra collects old movie posters.

▪ Ernst’s supporters have plastered his election posters over walls and cars.

poster for

▪ There are posters for the Van Gogh exhibition everywhere.

2. a picture or shape that has a particular meaning

▷ sign /saɪn/ [countable noun]

a picture or shape that has a particular meaning, and that is well known and often used :

▪ You’ve forgotten to put the dollar sign before the total amount.

▪ Where’s the percentage sign on this keyboard?

▷ symbol /ˈsɪmb ə l/ [countable noun]

a picture, shape, or design that has a particular meaning or represents an idea :

▪ The walls were covered with magical symbols.

▪ For several years Prince used a symbol instead of his name.

symbol of

▪ The dove is a symbol of peace.

symbol for

▪ The ancient Egyptians had no symbol for ‘zero.’

▷ logo /ˈləʊgəʊ/ [countable noun]

a sign that has been designed to represent an organization or product :

▪ The baseball team has a new logo.

▪ His costume had the Superman logo across the chest.

▪ You can buy bags with the company logo on them in the gift shop.

▷ emblem /ˈembləm/ [countable noun]

a picture of an object, flower, animal etc that is used to represent a country or organization :

▪ Scotland’s emblem is the thistle.

▪ The jacket had a tiny Olympic emblem on the pocket.

emblem of

▪ The hammer and sickle is the emblem of the Communist Party.

▷ insignia /ɪnˈsɪgniə/ [plural noun]

shapes, pictures, decorations etc that represent a powerful group, especially a military organization :

▪ Someone had spray-painted gang insignia on his car.

▪ They collect clothing with FBI insignia on it so they can pretend to be federal agents.

3. a movement or sound that you make to tell someone something

▷ sign /saɪn/ [countable noun]

a movement that you make in order to tell someone something :

▪ He raised his hand in a sign of greeting.

sign (that)

▪ Mardas threw his hands in the air - a sign to his supporters that victory was theirs.

sign for somebody to do something

▪ When the teacher puts her finger to her lips, it’s a sign for you all to be quiet.

▷ signal /ˈsɪgn ə l/ [countable noun]

a sound or movement that you make in order to tell someone to do something :

give a signal

▪ Don’t start yet - wait until I give the signal.

signal to do something

▪ The soldiers were waiting for the signal to start firing.

signal for somebody to do something

▪ When I nod my head, that’s the signal for you to start playing the music.

hand signals

▪ Stock brokers use roughly 300 hand signals on the trading floor.

▷ gesture /ˈdʒestʃəʳ/ [countable noun]

a movement of your hands, arms, or head that shows how you feel, especially when you are very worried or angry :

gesture of

▪ Jim raised his hands in a gesture of despair.

make a gesture

▪ Someone in another car started making gestures and pointing at our tires.

make a rude gesture

▪ The fight started when one of the fans made a rude gesture at a player.

▷ nod /nɒdǁnɑːd/ [countable noun]

a slight downward movement you make with your head to say ‘yes’ to something or to say that something can begin :

▪ I asked if he was hungry, and he responded with a nod.

give (somebody) a nod

▪ Daniels gave a slight nod, and Bill started to speak.

4. to make a movement or sound to tell someone something

▷ make a sign /ˌmeɪk ə ˈsaɪn/ [verb phrase]

to make a movement, especially with your hand, in order to tell someone something :

▪ I’ll make a sign when I’m ready.

▪ The President made a sign to indicate that he wanted to leave.

make a sign (that)

▪ From across the room Marla made a sign that she had seen me come in.

▷ signal /ˈsɪgn ə l/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to make a movement or sound in order to give instructions or information :

▪ A sailor began signalling with two flags.

signal to

▪ Graham finished his drink and signalled to the waiter.

signal that

▪ An official signalled that it was time for the race to begin.

signal somebody to do something

▪ Slowly he inched around the corner, signalling for the others to follow.

▷ give the signal /ˌgɪv ðə ˈsɪgn ə l/ [verb phrase]

to make a previously agreed sign that tells someone that they should start doing something :

▪ When I give the signal, I want you all to start clapping.

give (somebody) the signal to do something

▪ The dog waited patiently until his master gave him the signal to eat.

▷ wave /weɪv/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to move your hand or arm from one side to the other, for example in order to get someone’s attention or to tell them something :

▪ She continued to wave as the car drove out of sight.

wave at

▪ Who’s that waving at you?

wave to

▪ The emperor waved to the crowd from the palace balcony.

wave for somebody to do something

▪ Yolanda waved for us to come over.

wave somebody through/on

wave to show someone that they can go through or continue their journey

▪ The customs officer at the border waved us through.

wave goodbye

wave to someone who is leaving

▪ Her parents stood in the doorway and waved goodbye.

wave [countable noun]

give somebody a wave

wave at someone in order to say hello or goodbye

▪ I gave him a friendly wave.

▷ wink /wɪŋk/ [intransitive verb]

to quickly close and open one eye, in order to show that you are joking or that you share a secret with someone :

▪ Ben grinned at his father and winked.

wink at

▪ ‘The weather’s so nice, I’m thinking of calling in sick tomorrow,’ she said, winking at me.

wink [countable noun]

when you close and open one eye quickly :

▪ ‘Don’t worry,’ he said with a wink. ‘I won’t tell anyone about this.’

▷ nod/nod your head /nɒd, ˌnɒd jɔːʳ ˈhedǁˌnɑːd-/ [verb phrase]

to make a slight downward movement with your head to say ‘yes’ or ‘hello’ or to say that something can begin :

▪ Rob nodded his head in agreement.

▪ ‘Has he really left you?’ I asked. Josie nodded miserably.

nod/nod your head at/to

▪ The two men nodded to each other, as if they’d met before.

nod/nod your head for somebody to do something

▪ She nodded for Mike to lead the way.

▷ gesture /ˈdʒestʃəʳ/ [intransitive verb]

to use a movement of your hand, especially to tell someone to go to a place or to emphasize your meaning when you are saying something :

▪ The man was gesturing wildly, but we couldn’t understand what he wanted.

gesture to/at

▪ ‘Please sit down,’ said Winters, gesturing at the chair facing his own.

gesture to

▪ Celia began listing their recent purchases and gestured proudly to the fountain.

gesture for somebody to do something

▪ I turned to see a large policeman gesturing for us to move along.

▷ motion /ˈməʊʃ ə n/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to use a short movement of your arm or hand to tell someone what to do or where to go :

motion to

▪ Neil finished his meal, and then motioned to the waitress.

motion for somebody to do something

▪ Seeing Bert in the doorway, I motioned for him to come in.

motion somebody to do something

▪ Kemp started to object, but I motioned him to be quiet.

▷ beckon /ˈbekən/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to use a movement of your finger or head to tell someone to come towards you :

▪ She beckoned and he came running immediately.

▪ He was leaning over the wall, beckoning me.

beckon to

▪ Jan beckoned to me, but I knew better than to sit next to her.

beckon somebody in/over/to etc

▪ ‘Come and look at this,’ he said, beckoning me over to the window.

5. something that shows what is true or what is happening

▷ sign /saɪn/ [countable noun]

an event or fact that shows that something is true or that something is happening :

▪ Therapy should begin when the first signs are noticed.

sign of

▪ Stan has some of the early signs of heart disease.

▪ Police searched the house thoroughly but found no signs of a break-in.

sign (that)

▪ A score of 80 or more is a sign that you are doing very well.

be a sure sign (of/that)

show that something is definitely true

▪ When Emma offers to help you it’s a sure sign that she wants something from you!

a good/hopeful/encouraging sign

a sign that things are improving

▪ The rise in consumer spending is an encouraging sign that the economy may be recovering.

▷ indication /ˌɪndɪˈkeɪʃ ə n, ˌɪndəˈkeɪʃ ə n/ [countable/uncountable noun]

something, especially someone’s behaviour or what they say, that makes you believe that something is probably happening or has probably happened :

indication of

▪ There was no indication of forced entry to the building.

indication (that)

▪ There are indications that the Labour Party will win the next election.

give no/any/a good indication of something

▪ If she knew what was going on outside, she gave no indication of it.

▪ The daily pollen count can give a good indication of the amount of allergens in the air.

give/show every indication of (doing) something

▪ The two parties have shown every indication of a willingness to compromise.

▷ evidence /ˈevɪd ə ns, ˈevəd ə ns/ [uncountable noun]

facts, objects etc that show that something exists or is true :

▪ Without any evidence we cannot prove that she was involved in murder.

evidence of

▪ People have been looking for evidence of life on other planets for years.

evidence that

▪ We can find no evidence that he ever worked for the company.

visible evidence

▪ There was no visible evidence that humans had ever lived in this valley.

▷ symptom /ˈsɪmptəm/ [countable noun]

a sign that someone has an illness or that a serious problem exists :

▪ First the doctor asked me to describe my symptoms.

symptom of

▪ The first symptoms of hepatitis are tiredness, vomiting, and loss of weight.

▪ In his speech the Bishop labelled these crimes as a symptom of society’s moral decline.

▷ trace /treɪs/ [countable noun]

a very small sign that a particular situation exists or is true :

trace of

▪ The thief was careful not to leave any trace of his activities.

▪ Many local people were very eager to get rid of the last traces of their town’s shameful past.

with/without a trace of something

▪ Hans speaks English beautifully, without a trace of a foreign accent.

▷ manifestation /ˌmænɪfeˈsteɪʃ ə n, ˌmænəfeˈsteɪʃ ə nǁ-fə-/ [countable noun] formal

a very clear sign that a particular situation or feeling exists :

manifestation of

▪ This latest outbreak of violence is a clear manifestation of discontent in the city.

▪ Some men feel that showing their emotions is a manifestation of weakness.

▷ omen /ˈəʊmən/ [countable noun]

something that happens which you think is a sign that something good or bad is going to happen in the future :

▪ Do you think the rain is some kind of omen?

bad omen

▪ George thought the car breaking down on the way to his wedding was a bad omen.

good omen

▪ ‘Maybe this is a good omen,’ said Jill, seeing a blue sky for the first time in weeks.

▷ telltale /ˈtelteɪl/ [adjective only before noun]

tell-tale signs/marks/symptoms etc

signs that something is happening that are not very easy to notice, unless you know exactly what to look for :

▪ In his face you could see the first tell-tale signs of alcoholism.

▪ Teachers are encouraged to look for telltale signs of abuse among their students.

▷ be a giveaway /biː ə ˈgɪvəweɪ/ [verb phrase]

if you say that something is a giveaway, you mean it clearly shows you the real truth about something, rather than what someone would like you to believe :

▪ Those fake beams are a giveaway - it isn’t really an old pub.

be a dead giveaway

show very clearly

▪ That nervous twitching was always a dead giveaway that he’d done something wrong.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .