What does signal mean?

Definitions for signal
ˈsɪg nlsig·nal

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word signal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. signal, signaling, signnoun

    any nonverbal action or gesture that encodes a message

    "signals from the boat suddenly stopped"

  2. signalnoun

    any incitement to action

    "he awaited the signal to start"; "the victory was a signal for wild celebration"

  3. signaladjective

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

  4. signalverb

    notably out of the ordinary

    "the year saw one signal triumph for the Labour party"

  5. sign, signal, signalize, signaliseverb

    communicate silently and non-verbally by signals or signs

    "He signed his disapproval with a dismissive hand gesture"; "The diner signaled the waiters to bring the menu"

  6. bespeak, betoken, indicate, point, signalverb

    be a signal for or a symptom of

    "These symptoms indicate a serious illness"; "Her behavior points to a severe neurosis"; "The economic indicators signal that the euro is undervalued"


  1. Signalnoun

    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. Signalnoun

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


  1. signalnoun

    An indication given to another person.

  2. signalnoun

    An on-off light, semaphore, or other device used to give an indication to another person.

  3. signalnoun

    (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. signalnoun

    Useful information.

  5. signalnoun

    A simple interprocess communication used to notify a process or thread of an occurrence.

  6. signalverb

    To indicate.

  7. signaladjective

    Standing above others in rank, importance, or achievement.

  8. Etymology: From segnal, seignal or signale, noun use of the neuter of signalis, from signum.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Signaladjective

    Eminent; memorable; remarkable.

    Etymology: signal, French.

    He was esteemed more by the parliament, for the signal acts of cruelty committed upon the Irish. Edward Hyde.

    The Thames frozen twice in one year, so as men to walk on it, is a very signal accident. Jonathan Swift.

  2. SIGNALnoun

    Notice given by a sign; a sign that gives notice.

    Etymology: signal, French; sennale, Spanish.

    The weary sun hath made a golden set,
    And, by the bright track of his firy car,
    Gives signal of a goodly day to-morrow. William Shakespeare, R. III.

    Scarce the dawning day began to spring,
    As at a signal giv’n, the streets with clamours ring. Dryden.


  1. Signal

    Signal (stylized in all caps) is a song recorded by South Korean girl group Twice. The song was released on May 15, 2017 by JYP Entertainment and distributed by KT Music, as the lead single from their fourth extended play of the same name. The Japanese version of "Signal", along with its accompanying short version of the music video, was released on June 14, 2017 as a promotional single for their first Japanese compilation album, #Twice. The song received its first awards—Song of the Year (grand prize) and Best Dance Performance for a female group at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards.


  1. signal

    A signal is a detectable physical or electromagnetic entity that carries or conveys information, instructions, or data. It can be transmitted through various mediums like air, wires, or electromagnetic waves. Signals can take many forms including sound, light, radio waves, electric voltage, or even a series of events. The purpose of a signal is often related to communication, control, or measurement.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Signalnoun

    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

  2. Signalnoun

    a token; an indication; a foreshadowing; a sign

  3. Signaladjective

    noticeable; distinguished from what is ordinary; eminent; remarkable; memorable; as, a signal exploit; a signal service; a signal act of benevolence

  4. Signaladjective

    of or pertaining to signals, or the use of signals in conveying information; as, a signal flag or officer

  5. Signalverb

    to communicate by signals; as, to signal orders

  6. Signalverb

    to notify by a signals; to make a signal or signals to; as, to signal a fleet to anchor

  7. Etymology: [F., fr. LL. signale, fr. L. signum. See Sign, n.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Signal

    sig′nal, n. a sign for giving notice, generally at a distance: token: the notice given: any initial impulse.—v.t. and v.i. to make signals to: to convey by signals:—pr.p. sig′nalling; pa.t. and pa.p. sig′nalled.adj. having a sign: remarkable: notable: eminent.—ns. Sig′nal-book, a book containing a system of signals; Sig′nal-box, -cab′in, &c., a small house in which railway-signals are worked: the alarm-box of a police or fire-alarm system; Sig′nal-code, a code or system of arbitrary signals, esp. at sea, by flags or lights; Sig′nal-fire, a fire used for a signal; Sig′nal-flag, a flag used in signalling, its colour, shape, markings, and combinations indicating various significations; Sig′nal-gun, a gun fired as a signal.—v.t. Sig′nalise, to make signal or eminent: to signal.—ns. Sig′nal-lamp, a lamp by which signals are made by glasses or slides of different colours, &c.; Sig′nalling, the means of transmitting intelligence to a greater or less distance by the agency of sight or hearing.—adv. Sig′nally.—ns. Sig′nalman, one who makes signals and who interprets those made; Sig′nalment, the act of communicating by signals: description by means of marks; Sig′nal-post, a pole on which movable flags, arms, lights, are displayed as signals; Sig′nal-ser′vice, the department in the army occupied with signalling. [Fr.,—L. signalis, signum.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. signal

    1. As applied to electronics, any transmitted electrical impulse. 2. Operationally, a type of message, the text of which consists of one or more letters, words, characters, signal flags, visual displays, or special sounds with prearranged meaning, and which is conveyed or transmitted by visual, acoustical, or electrical means.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. signal

    Any sign made for marching, fighting, etc. Signals are likewise given by the drum, bugle, and trumpet, during the exercise of a battalion. See Signal Service.

Editors Contribution

  1. signal

    A sequence of digital values with coded information.

    The signals between computer, networks and servers have a signal which communicate at superluminal speed.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 5, 2020  

  2. signal

    To communicate data or information through a telecommunications system or satellite system.

    The signals from the telecommunications system and satellite systems were very efficient and communicationg at superluminal speed.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 5, 2020  

  3. signal

    To communicate data or information.

    The radio and TV signals are excellent and are mostly digital in most countries in 2020

    Submitted by MaryC on January 19, 2020  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Signal is ranked #99845 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Signal surname appeared 181 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Signal.

    85.6% or 155 total occurrences were Black.
    4.9% or 9 total occurrences were White.
    4.4% or 8 total occurrences were of two or more races.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'signal' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3542

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'signal' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3977

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'signal' in Nouns Frequency: #989

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'signal' in Verbs Frequency: #853

Anagrams for signal »

  1. algins

  2. aligns

  3. lasing

How to pronounce signal?

How to say signal in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of signal in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of signal in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of signal in a Sentence

  1. Jack Ablin:

    When you close at the low of the day, it's an important signal, the economy is solid but the financial markets are ripe for some kind of correction.

  2. Mauro Cozzoli:

    This is a very strong signal from the Pope.

  3. Anthony Eastin:

    We’re this team that finds a solution, essentially, sothe combat controllers, they came up to us with this problem and said, ‘This is what we have to carry with us in order to signal to aircraft,’ the problem with this is that it’s big and it’s bulky.

  4. Roberto Perli:

    We shouldn't expect the Fed to be prepared to send a clear signal about a timing of rate hikes.

  5. Ma Xiaoping:

    It is a signal to the financial market that policymakers want to push forward the convertibility of the yuan.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for signal

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"signal." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/signal>.

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    offensive or even (of persons) malicious
    A plush
    B reassuring
    C abrupt
    D nasty

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