See also: šign

English edit

English Wikipedia has an article on:

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English signe, sygne, syng, seine, sine, syne, from Old English seġn (sign; mark; token) and Old French signe, seing (sign; mark; signature); both from Latin signum (a mark; sign; token); root uncertain. Doublet of signum. Partially displaced native token.

Noun edit

sign (countable and uncountable, plural signs)

A traffic sign
  1. (sometimes also used uncountably) A visible fact that shows that something exists or may happen.
    Synonyms: indication, evidence
    Their angry expressions were a clear sign they didn't want to talk.
    Those clouds show signs of raining soon.
    Those clouds show little sign of raining soon.
    1. An omen.
      "It's a sign of the end of the world," the doom prophet said.
    2. (medicine) A property of the body that indicates a disease and, unlike a symptom, can be detected objectively by someone other than the patient.
      Signs of disease are objective, whereas symptoms are subjective.
  2. A mark or another symbol used to represent something.
    Synonyms: mark, marking, signal, symbol
    The sharp sign indicates that the pitch of the note is raised a half step.
    I gave them a thumbs-up sign.
    • 2000, Geoffrey McGuinness, Carmen McGuinness, How to Increase Your Child's Verbal Intelligence: The Language Wise Method, Yale University Press, →ISBN, page 38:
      The sound of the Orlando dinner train whistle reminds me that it ' s already Friday, an auditory sign. Another auditory sign, a distant thunder clap, warns me of limited computer time before our evening thunderstorm moves in.
  3. (Canada, US, Australia, uncountable) Physical evidence left by an animal.
    The hunters found deer sign at the end of the trail.
    • 2015, Dave Canterbury, Advanced Bushcraft: An Expert Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival, page 127:
      Animal sign is the key to eliminating guesswork when setting your traps. Only trap where there is sign. Sign is anything the animal leaves as a trace that indicates it may have passed through the area.
  4. A clearly visible object, generally flat, bearing a short message in words or pictures.
    The sign in the window advertised a room for rent.
    I missed the sign at the corner so I took the wrong turn.
  5. A wonder; miracle; prodigy.
  6. (astrology) An astrological sign.
    Your sign is Taurus? That's no surprise.
  7. (mathematics) Positive or negative polarity, as denoted by the + or - sign.
    I got the magnitude right, but the sign was wrong.
  8. A specific gesture or motion used to communicate by those with speaking or hearing difficulties; now specifically, a linguistic unit in sign language equivalent to word in spoken languages.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book II, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], →OCLC:
      And why not, as well as our dumbe men dispute, argue and tell histories by signes?
    • 2007, Marcel Danesi, The Quest for Meaning:
      In American Sign Language (ASL), for instance, the sign for 'catch' is formed with one hand (in the role of agent) moving across the body (an action) to grasp the forefinger of the other hand (the patient).
  9. (uncountable) Sign language in general.
    Sorry, I don't know sign very well.
  10. A semantic unit, something that conveys meaning or information (e.g. a word of written language); (linguistics, semiotics) a unit consisting of a signifier and a signified concept. (See sign (semiotics).)
    • 1692, Thomas Bennet, Short Introduction of Grammar ... of the Latine Tongue:
      A Noun substantive and a Noun adjective may be thus distinguished, that a substantive may have the sign a or the before it; as, puer, a boy, the boy; but an adjective cannot, as, bonus, good.
    • 1753, Charles Davies, Busby's English Introduction to the Latin Tongue Examined, page 11:
      A Pronoun is a Noun implying a Person, but not admitting the Sign a or the before it.
    • 2008, Eero Tarasti, Robert S. Hatten, A Sounding of Signs: Modalities and Moments in Music, Culture, and Philosophy : Essays in Honor of Eero Tarasti on His 60th Anniversary:
      And some linguistic signs, like “the”, “and” or “with”, may lack apparent objects, though they are clearly meaningful and interpretable.
  11. A military emblem carried on a banner or standard.
Derived terms edit
Related terms edit
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English signen, seinen, seinien, partly from Old English seġnian (to mark; sign) and partly from Anglo-Norman seigner, seiner et al., Old French signer et al., and their source Latin signāre (to mark, seal, indicate, signify); all from Latin signum (a mark, sign); see Etymology 1, above. Compare sain.

Verb edit

sign (third-person singular simple present signs, present participle signing, simple past and past participle signed)

  1. To make a mark
    1. (transitive, now rare) To seal (a document etc.) with an identifying seal or symbol. [from 13th c.]
      The Queen signed her letter with the regal signet.
    2. (transitive) To mark, to put or leave a mark on. [from 14th c.]
      • 1726, Elijah Fenton, The Odyssey of Homer:
        Meantime revolving in his thoughtful mind / The scar, with which his manly knee was sign'd […].
    3. (transitive) To validate or ratify (a document) by writing one's signature on it. [from 15th c.]
    4. (transitive) More generally, to write one's signature on (something) as a means of identification etc. [from 15th c.]
      I forgot to sign that letter to my aunt.
    5. (transitive or reflexive) To write (one's name) as a signature. [from 16th c.]
      Just sign your name at the bottom there.
      I received a letter from some woman who signs herself ‘Mrs Trellis’.
    6. (intransitive) To write one's signature. [from 17th c.]
      Please sign on the dotted line.
    7. (intransitive) To finalise a contractual agreement to work for a given sports team, record label etc. [from 19th c.]
      • 2011, The Guardian, (headline), 18 Oct 2011:
        Agents say Wales back Gavin Henson has signed for Cardiff Blues.
    8. (transitive) To engage (a sports player, musician etc.) in a contract. [from 19th c.]
      It was a great month. I managed to sign three major players.
  2. To make the sign of the cross
    1. (transitive) To bless (someone or something) with the sign of the cross; to mark with the sign of the cross. [from 14th c.]
    2. (reflexive) To cross oneself. [from 15th c.]
      • 1855, Robert Browning, Men and Women:
        Shaking a fist at him with one fierce arm, / Signing himself with the other because of Christ.
  3. To indicate
    1. (intransitive) To communicate using a gesture or signal. [from 16th c.]
    2. (transitive) To communicate or make known (a meaning, intention, etc.) by a sign.
    3. (transitive) To communicate using gestures to (someone). [from 16th c.]
      He signed me that I should follow him through the doorway.
    4. (intransitive) To use sign language. [from 19th c.]
    5. (transitive) To furnish (a road etc.) with signs. [from 20th c.]
  4. To determine the sign of
    1. (transitive) To calculate or derive whether a quantity has a positive or negative sign.
Conjugation edit
Derived terms edit
Related terms edit
Descendants edit
  • Scottish Gaelic: soidhn
Translations edit

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit