• Signal

    Pronunciation

    • enPR: sĭg'nəl, IPA: /ˈsɪɡn(ə)l/

    Alternative forms

    Origin

    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

    Noun

    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.

    Antonyms

    • (useful information) noise

    Derived terms

    Terms derived from signal (noun)

    Verb

    1. To indicate.

    Adjective

    signal

    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.

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