• Signal


    • enPR: sĭg'nəl, IPA: /ˈsɪɡn(ə)l/

    Alternative forms


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

    Full definition of signal



    (plural signals)
    1. A sign made to give notice of some occurrence, command, or danger, or to indicate the start of a concerted action.
      • MiltonAll obeyed
        The wonted signal and superior voice
        Of this great potentate.
    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.My mobile phone can't get a signal in the railway station.
    4. A token; an indication; a foreshadowing; a sign.
      • ShakespeareThe weary sun ...
        Gives signal of a goodly day to-morrow.
      • De FoeThere was not the least signal of the calamity to be seen.
    5. Useful information, as opposed to noise.
    6. (computing, Unix) A simple interprocess communication used to notify a process or thread of an occurrence.


    • (useful information) noise

    Derived terms

    Terms derived from signal (noun)


    1. To indicate.



    1. Standing above others in rank, importance, or achievement.a signal exploit; a signal service; a signal act of benevolence
      • MiltonAs signal now in low, dejected state
        As erst in highest, behold him where he lies.

    Related terms


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