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semaphore

[sem-uh-fawr, -fohr] /ˈsɛm əˌfɔr, -ˌfoʊr/
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
1810-1820
1810-20; < Greek sêma sign + -phore
Related forms
semaphoric
[sem-uh-fawr-ik, -for-] /ˌsɛm əˈfɔr ɪk, -ˈfɒr-/ (Show IPA),
semaphorical, adjective
semaphorically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for semaphorical

semaphore

/ˈsɛməˌfɔː/
noun
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
verb
3.
to signal (information) by means of semaphore
Derived Forms
semaphoric (ˌsɛməˈfɒrɪk), semaphorical, adjective
semaphorically, adverb
Word Origin
C19: via French, from Greek sēma a signal + -phore
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for semaphorical

semaphore

n.

"apparatus for signaling," 1816, probably via French sémaphore, literally "a bearer of signals," ultimately from Greek sema "sign, signal" (see semantic) + phoros "bearer," from pherein "to carry" (see infer). Related: Semaphoric (1808).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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