signal

A signal is a gesture or message that people use to communicate with each other. The wave you give a good friend to call her over from across the room and the impulse that transmits your voice through the telephone to your mother are both signals.

In the course of a single day, you probably send and receive thousands of different signals. When you want to cross the street, you wait for the green light — a signal that it's safe to cross. If you're in a relationship and you're not sure whether you like the person you're dating, you could be sending mixed signals — first acting like you're interested, and then acting uninterested. If your date finally gets tired of your mixed signals while you're at a restaurant, you'll need to signal to your server that it's time for the check.

Definitions of signal
1

n any nonverbal action or gesture that encodes a message

signals from the boat suddenly stopped”
Synonyms:
sign, signaling
Examples:
British Crown
the symbol of the power of the British monarchy
Types:
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recording
a signal that encodes something (e.g., picture or sound) that has been recorded
number, phone number, telephone number
the number is used in calling a particular telephone
start, starting signal
a signal to begin (as in a race)
storm signal
a signal announcing the approach of a storm (particularly a storm of marked violence)
beam, radio beam
a signal transmitted along a narrow path; guides airplane pilots in darkness or bad weather
ticktack
system of signalling by hand signs used by bookmakers at racetracks
time signal
a signal (especially electronic or by radio) indicating the precisely correct time
dog-ear
a corner of a page turned down to mark your place
animal communication
communication between animals (of the same species)
alarm, alarum, alert, warning signal
an automatic signal (usually a sound) warning of danger
distress call, distress signal
an internationally recognized signal sent out by a ship or plane indicating that help is needed
all clear
a signal (usually a siren) that danger is over
bugle call
a signal broadcast by the sound of a bugle
curfew
a signal (usually a bell) announcing the start of curfew restrictions
retreat
(military) a signal to begin a withdrawal from a dangerous position
drumbeat
(military) the beating of a drum as a signal for lowering the flag at sundown
radiotelegraphic signal, telegraphic signal
a signal transmitted by telegraphy
whistle, whistling
the act of signalling (e.g., summoning) by whistling or blowing a whistle
high sign
a silent signal of warning or recognition
symbol
an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance
visual signal
a signal that involves visual communication
indicator
a signal for attracting attention
electronic signal
a signal generated by electronic means
radio beacon
a characteristic signal emitted by a transmitter used for navigation
input, input signal
signal going into an electronic system
output, output signal
signal that comes out of an electronic system
bologram, bolograph
record or recording made by a bolometer
chromatogram
the recording (column or paper strip) on which the constituents of a mixture are adsorbed in chromatography
oscillogram
the recording produced by an oscillograph
spirogram
a recording of breathing made with a spirograph
torpedo
a small explosive device that is placed on a railroad track and fires when a train runs over it; the sound of the explosion warns the engineer of danger ahead
stock symbol
the letters used to identify listed companies on the securities exchanges where they are traded
accolade, award, honor, honour, laurels
a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
storm cone
a canvas cone hoisted to warn of high winds
brand, mark, stain, stigma
a symbol of disgrace or infamy
item, token
an individual instance of a type of symbol
type
all of the tokens of the same symbol
birdcall, birdsong, call, song
the characteristic sound produced by a bird
air alert
the warning signal that begins a period of preparation for an enemy air attack
burglar alarm
a loud warning signal produced by a burglar alarm
SOS
an internationally recognized distress signal in radio code
Mayday
an internationally recognized distress signal via radiotelephone (from the French m'aider)
recall
a bugle call that signals troops to return
lights-out, taps
(military) signal to turn the lights out
reveille, wake-up signal
(military) signal to wake up
retreat
(military) a bugle call signaling the lowering of the flag at sunset
tattoo
a drumbeat or bugle call that signals the military to return to their quarters
dit, dot
the shorter of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code
dah, dash
the longer of the two telegraphic signals used in Morse code
nose
a symbol of inquisitiveness
number, numeral
a symbol used to represent a number
symbolism
a system of symbols and symbolic representations
lingam
the Hindu phallic symbol of Siva
pound, pound sign
a symbol for a unit of currency (especially for the pound sterling in Great Britain)
printed symbol, written symbol
a written or printed symbol
dollar, dollar mark, dollar sign
a symbol of commercialism or greed
monogram
a graphic symbol consisting of 2 or more letters combined (usually your initials); printed on stationery or embroidered on clothing
impression, stamp
a symbol that is the result of printing or engraving
watch fire
a fire lighted at night as a signal
light
a visual warning signal
red light, warning light
a cautionary sign of danger
flare, flash
a burst of light used to communicate or illuminate
flag, signal flag
a rectangular piece of fabric used as a signalling device
mantle
the cloak as a symbol of authority
Crown
the Crown (or the reigning monarch) as the symbol of the power and authority of a monarchy
air sock, air-sleeve, drogue, sock, wind cone, wind sleeve, wind sock, windsock
a truncated cloth cone mounted on a mast; used (e.g., at airports) to show the direction of the wind
post, stake
a pole or stake set up to mark something (as the start or end of a race track)
point of reference, reference, reference point
an indicator that orients you generally
blinker, trafficator, turn indicator, turn signal
a blinking light on a motor vehicle that indicates the direction in which the vehicle is about to turn
armband
worn around arm as identification or to indicate mourning
rocket, skyrocket
propels bright light high in the sky, or used to propel a lifesaving line or harpoon
radar echo
an electronic signal that has been reflected back to the radar antenna; contains information about the location and distance of the reflecting object
racon, radar beacon
a device that, on receiving radar signals, transmits coded signals in response to help navigators determine their position
beacon, beacon fire
a fire (usually on a hill or tower) that can be seen from a distance
printout
the output of a computer in printed form
read-out, readout
the output of a computer in readable form
fire alarm
a shout or bell to warn that fire has broken out
foghorn, fogsignal
a loud low warning signal that can be heard by fogbound ships
horn
a noise made by the driver of an automobile to give warning;
red flag
a flag that serves as a warning signal
siren
a warning signal that is a loud wailing sound
alarm bell, tocsin
the sound of an alarm (usually a bell)
brake light, stoplight
a red light on the rear of a motor vehicle that signals when the brakes are applied to slow or stop
barber's pole
striped pole outside a barbershop
staff
a rod carried as a symbol
icon
(computer science) a graphic symbol (usually a simple picture) that denotes a program or a command or a data file or a concept in a graphical user interface
mark, marker, marking
a distinguishing symbol
identifier
a symbol that establishes the identity of the one bearing it
variable
a symbol (like x or y) that is used in mathematical or logical expressions to represent a variable quantity
Type of:
communication
something that is communicated by or to or between people or groups

n any incitement to action

“he awaited the signal to start”
“the victory was a signal for wild celebration”
Type of:
incitation, incitement, provocation
something that incites or provokes; a means of arousing or stirring to action

n an electric quantity (voltage or current or field strength) whose modulation represents coded information about the source from which it comes

Types:
interrupt
a signal that temporarily stops the execution of a program so that another procedure can be carried out
Type of:
electrical energy, electricity
energy made available by the flow of electric charge through a conductor

adj notably out of the ordinary

“the year saw one signal triumph for the Labour party”
Synonyms:
impressive
making a strong or vivid impression

v communicate silently and non-verbally by signals or signs

“The diner signaled the waiters to bring the menu”
Synonyms:
sign, signalise, signalize
Types:
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wigwag
signal by or as if by a flag or light waved according to a code
semaphore
send signals by or as if by semaphore
heliograph
signal by means of a mirror and the using the sun's rays
flag
communicate or signal with a flag
whistle
give a signal by whistling
Type of:
communicate, intercommunicate
transmit thoughts or feelings

v be a signal for or a symptom of

“The economic indicators signal that the euro is undervalued”
Synonyms:
bespeak, betoken, indicate, point
Types:
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augur, auspicate, betoken, bode, forecast, foreshadow, foretell, omen, portend, predict, prefigure, presage, prognosticate
indicate by signs
mark
designate as if by a mark
threaten
to be a menacing indication of something:"The clouds threaten rain"
blaze
indicate by marking trees with blazes
dimension
indicate the dimensions on
signpost
mark with a signpost, as of a path
distinguish, signalise, signalize
make conspicuous or noteworthy
buoy
mark with a buoy
foreshow
foretell by divine inspiration
Type of:
tell
let something be known

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