semaphores

semaphore

[sem-uh-fawr, -fohr]
noun
1.
an apparatus for conveying information by means of visual signals, as a light whose position may be changed.
2.
any of various devices for signaling by changing the position of a light, flag, etc.
3.
a system of signaling, especially a system by which a special flag is held in each hand and various positions of the arms indicate specific letters, numbers, etc.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), semaphored, semaphoring.
4.
to signal by semaphore or by some system of flags.

Origin:
1810–20; < Greek sêma sign + -phore

semaphoric [sem-uh-fawr-ik, -for-] , semaphorical, adjective
semaphorically, adverb
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World English Dictionary
semaphore (ˈsɛməˌfɔː)
 
n
1.  an apparatus for conveying information by means of visual signals, as with movable arms or railway signals, flags, etc
2.  a system of signalling by holding a flag in each hand and moving the arms to designated positions to denote each letter of the alphabet
 
vb
3.  to signal (information) by means of semaphore
 
[C19: via French, from Greek sēma a signal + -phore]
 
semaphoric
 
adj
 
sema'phorical
 
adj
 
sema'phorically
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

semaphore
"apparatus for signaling," 1816, probably from Fr. sémaphore, lit. "a bearer of signals," ult. from Gk. sema "sign, signal" + phoros "bearer," from pherein "to carry" (see infer).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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