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signal - definition and synonyms


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noun [countable] signal pronunciation in American English /ˈsɪɡnəl/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    a movement or sound made by someone that has a special meaning to another person
    signal to: He gave a signal to his driver to carry on.
    at a signal: At the prearranged signal, we all jumped up and shouted “Surprise!”
    do something as a signal (of something): They waved a flag as a signal of distress.
    mixed/conflicting signals (=signals that have different meanings): She knew she was sending him mixed signals.
    give (someone) a signal: We waited for them to give us the signal to move.
  2. 2
    a fact, event, or action that shows what someone intends to do or shows what is likely to happen
    signal of: They had ignored the strong signals of an approaching economic crisis .
    give/send a signal: In terms of their personal relationships, teachers have to be very careful not to send students the wrong signals.
    signal for/to: The election was a signal for the party to rethink its strategies.
    read the signals (=understand their meaning correctly): When she told him she was leaving, Bill wasn’t surprised – he had read the signals.
  3. 3
    pictures, sound, or other information sent by one piece of electronic equipment and received by another one
    radio signals
    I’ve called several times, but I keep getting a busy signal.
    carry a signal: The copper wire carries the electrical signals.
    See also busy signal


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