Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of signal
Meaning of signal by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    From Old French segnal, seignal or Medieval Latin signāle, noun use of the neuter of Late Latin signālis, from Latin signum .


    • enPR: sĭg'nəl, IPA: /ˈsɪɡn( ə )l/, X-SAMPA: /"sIgn( @ )l/


    signal ( plural: signals )

    1. An indication given to another person .
    2. An on-off light, semaphore, or other device used to give an indication to another person .
    3. ( of a radio, TV, telephone, internet, etc ) An electrical or electromagnetic action, normally a voltage that is a function of time that conveys the information of the radio or TV program or of communication with another party .
      I cannot get a signal .
    4. Useful information .
    5. ( computing, Unix ) A simple interprocess communication used to notify a process or thread of an occurrence .


    Derived terms

    See also


    signal ( not comparable )

    1. Standing above others in rank, importance, or achievement .

    Related terms


Explanation of signal by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. be a signal for or a symptom of

    2. The economic indicators signal that the euro is undervalued
    3. communicate silently and non-verbally by signals or signs

    4. The diner signaled the waiters to bring the menu
    1. notably out of the ordinary

    2. the year saw one signal triumph for the Labour party
    1. any nonverbal action or gesture that encodes a message

    2. signals from the boat suddenly stopped
    3. any incitement to action

    4. he awaited the signal to start
      the victory was a signal for wild celebration
    5. an electric quantity ( voltage or current or field strength ) whose modulation represents coded information about the source from which it comes

    Definition of signal by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Signal n. [F., fr. LL. signale, fr. L. signum. See Sign, n.]
      1. A sign made for the purpose of giving notice to a person of some occurence, command, or danger; also, a sign, event, or watchword, which has been agreed upon as the occasion of concerted action.

      All obeyed

      The wonted signal and superior voice

      Of this great potentate. Milton.

      2. A token; an indication; a foreshadowing; a sign; anything taken as evidence of some process.

      The weary sun . . .

      Gives signal of a goodly day to-morrow. Shak.

      There was not the least signal of the calamity to be seen. De Foc.

      3. Hence: ( Electronics ) A measureable electrical quantity, such as voltage or current, that conveys information by varying in magnitude over time; as, “the signals from the strongest commercial radio stations can be received over hundreds of miles”.

    2. Signal, a. [From signal, n.: cf. F. signalé.]
      1. Noticeable; distinguished from what is ordinary; eminent; remarkable; memorable; as, “a signal exploit; a signal service; a signal act of benevolence”.

      As signal now in low, dejected state

      As erst in highest, behold him where he lies. Milton.

      2. Of or pertaining to signals, or the use of signals in conveying information; as, “a signal flag or officer”.

      The signal service, a bureau of the government ( in the United States connected with the War Department ) organized to collect from the whole country simultaneous raports of local meteorological conditions, upon comparison of which at the central office, predictions concerning the weather are telegraphed to various sections, where they are made known by signals publicly displayed. -- Signal station, the place where a signal is displayed; specifically, an observation office of the signal service.

      Syn. -- Eminent; remarkable; memorable; extraordinary; notable; conspicuous.

    3. Signal, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Signaled ( ) or Signalled; p. pr. & vb. n. Signaling or Signalling.]
      1. To communicate by signals; as, “to signal orders”.

      2. To notify by a signals; to make a signal or signals to; as, “to signal a fleet to anchor”. M. Arnold.