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sign - definition and synonyms


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noun     sign pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] a piece of evidence that something is happening or that something exists
    sure sign:

    She began tapping her foot, a sure sign of annoyance.

    sign that:

    He had somehow missed the signs that she was upset.

    no/little etc sign:

    There were few signs of an upturn in the economy.

    sign of:

    I couldn’t see any sign of progress.

    see/take something as a sign:

    Ann took his silence as a sign of rejection.

    show no/little/every etc sign:

    Interest rates show no sign of falling.

    1. a.
      something that suggests that a good or bad thing will happen in the future

      The fact that he phoned you is a good sign.

      warning/danger sign:

      Looking back now, I realize I failed to spot the warning signs.

      a sign of things to come (=a sign of what will happen in the future):

      Recent job losses are probably a sign of things to come.

    2. b.
      evidence that someone is present
      sign of:

      When we came out of the station there was no sign of her.

  2. 2
    [countable] a flat object with words or pictures on it, put in a public place to provide information or advertise something

    a flashing neon sign

    The shop had a ‘closed’ sign in the window.

    follow the signs:

    Turn right and follow the signs to the zoo.

    obey/ignore a sign:

    Several people were ignoring the no-smoking sign.

  3. 3
    [countable] a movement or sound that you make that tells other people what you want, how you feel, what they should do etc
    a sign to someone (to do something):

    Mandy winked, our sign to each other to remain silent.

    1. a.
      a movement that you make with your hands that has a special meaning
      give a sign:

      He turned and gave the familiar thumbs-up sign to the crowd.

  4. 4
    [countable] a written symbol that has a particular meaning, such as % meaning ‘per cent’ or $ meaningdollar

    a pound sign

  5. 5
    [countable] a star sign

    I’m a Scorpio. What sign are you?

Open Dictionary


a rise in the level of a stream or river

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