sign on


[sahyn-on, -awn]

1880–85; noun use of verb phrase sign on Unabridged


1 [lawg, log]
a portion or length of the trunk or of a large limb of a felled tree.
something inert, heavy, or not sentient.
Nautical. any of various devices for determining the speed of a ship, as a chip log or patent log.
any of various records, made in rough or finished form, concerning a trip made by a ship or aircraft and dealing with particulars of navigation, weather, engine performance, discipline, and other pertinent details; logbook.
Movies. an account describing or denoting each shot as it is taken, written down during production and referred to in editing the film.
a register of the operation of a machine.
Also called well log. a record kept during the drilling of a well, especially of the geological formations penetrated.
Computers. any of various chronological records made concerning the use of a computer system, the changes made to data, etc.
Radio and Television. a written account of everything transmitted by a station or network.
Also called log of wood. Australian Slang. a lazy, dull-witted person; fool.
verb (used with object), logged, logging.
to cut (trees) into logs: to log pine trees for fuel.
to cut down the trees or timber on (land): We logged the entire area in a week.
to enter in a log; compile; amass; keep a record of: to log a day's events.
to make (a certain speed), as a ship or airplane: We are logging 18 knots.
to travel for (a certain distance or a certain amount of time), according to the record of a log: We logged 30 miles the first day. He has logged 10,000 hours flying time.
verb (used without object), logged, logging.
to cut down trees and get out logs from the forest for timber: to log for a living.
Verb phrases
log in,
Also, log on, sign on. Computers. to enter identifying data, as a username or password, into a database, mobile device, or computer, especially a multiuser computer or a remote or networked system, so as to to access and use it: Log in to start your work session. Log in to your account to pay your bill online.
to enter or include any item of information or data in a record, account, etc.
log off/out, Computers. to terminate a session.

1350–1400; Middle English logge, variant of lugge pole, limb of tree; compare obsolete logget pole; see lugsail, logbook

loggish, adjective
unlogged, adjective


a token; indication.
any object, action, event, pattern, etc., that conveys a meaning.
a conventional or arbitrary mark, figure, or symbol used as an abbreviation for the word or words it represents.
a motion or gesture used to express or convey an idea, command, decision, etc.: Her nod was a sign that it was time to leave.
a notice, bearing a name, direction, warning, or advertisement, that is displayed or posted for public view: a traffic sign; a store sign.
a trace; vestige: There wasn't a sign of them.
an arbitrary or conventional symbol used in musical notation to indicate tonality, tempo, etc.
Medicine/Medical. the objective indications of a disease.
any meaningful gestural unit belonging to a sign language.
an omen; portent: a sign of approaching decadence.
sign language ( def 1 ).
Usually, signs. traces, as footprints, of a wild animal.
a plus sign or minus sign used as a symbol for indicating addition or subtraction.
a plus sign or minus sign used as a symbol for indicating the positive or negative value of a quantity, as an integer.
a symbol, as or !, used to indicate a radical or factorial operation.
verb (used with object)
to affix a signature to: to sign a letter.
to write as a signature: to sign one's name.
to engage by written agreement: to sign a new player.
to mark with a sign, especially the sign of the cross.
to communicate by means of a sign; signal: He signed his wish to leave.
to convey (a message) in a sign language.
Obsolete. to direct or appoint by a sign.
verb (used without object)
to write one's signature, as a token of agreement, obligation, receipt, etc.: to sign for a package.
to make a sign or signal: He signed to her to go away.
to employ a sign language for communication.
to obligate oneself by signature: He signed with another team for the next season.
Verb phrases
sign away/over, to assign or dispose of by affixing one's signature to a document: She signed over her fortune to the church.
sign in, to record or authorize one's arrival (or departure) by signing a register. Also, sign out.
sign off,
to withdraw, as from some responsibility or connection.
to cease radio or television broadcasting, especially at the end of the day.
Informal. to become silent: He had exhausted conversation topics and signed off.
to indicate one's approval explicitly if not formally: The president is expected to sign off on the new agreement.
sign on,
to employ; hire.
to bind oneself to work, as by signing a contract: He signed on as a pitcher with a major-league team.
to start radio or television broadcasting, especially at the beginning of the day.
Computers. log1 ( def 17a ).
sign up, to enlist, as in an organization or group; to register or subscribe: to sign up for the navy; to sign up for class.

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English signe < Old French < Latin signum mark, sign, ensign, signal, image; (v.) Middle English signen to mark with a sign, especially the sign of the cross < Old French signer < Latin signāre to mark with a sign, inscribe, affix a seal to, derivative of signum

signless, adjective
signlike, adjective
postsign, verb (used with object)
unsigned, adjective

sign, sing (see synonym study at the current entry).

1. trace, hint, suggestion. 1, 4. signal. 10. indication, hint, augury. Sign, omen, portent name that which gives evidence of a future event. Sign is a general word for whatever gives evidence of an event—past, present, or future: Dark clouds are a sign of rain or snow. An omen is an augury or warning of things to come; it is used only of the future, in general, as good or bad: birds of evil omen. Portent limited, like omen to prophecy of the future, may be used of a specific event, usually a misfortune: portents of war. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To sign on
World English Dictionary
log1 (lɒɡ)
1.  a.  a section of the trunk or a main branch of a tree, when stripped of branches
 b.  (modifier) constructed out of logs: a log cabin
2.  a.  a detailed record of a voyage of a ship or aircraft
 b.  a record of the hours flown by pilots and aircrews
 c.  a book in which these records are made; logbook
3.  a written record of information about transmissions kept by radio stations, amateur radio operators, etc
4.  a.  See also chip log a device consisting of a float with an attached line, formerly used to measure the speed of a ship
 b.  heave the log to determine a ship's speed with such a device
5.  (Austral) a claim for better pay and conditions presented by a trade union to an employer
6.  like a log without stirring or being disturbed (in the phrase sleep like a log)
vb , logs, logging, logged
7.  (tr) to fell the trees of (a forest, area, etc) for timber
8.  (tr) to saw logs from (trees)
9.  (intr) to work at the felling of timber
10.  (tr) to enter (a distance, event, etc) in a logbook or log
11.  (tr) to record the punishment received by (a sailor) in a logbook
12.  (tr) to travel (a specified distance or time) or move at (a specified speed)
[C14: origin obscure]

log2 (lɒɡ)
short for logarithm

sign (saɪn)
1.  something that indicates or acts as a token of a fact, condition, etc, that is not immediately or outwardly observable
2.  an action or gesture intended to convey information, a command, etc
3.  a.  a board, placard, etc, displayed in public and inscribed with words or designs intended to inform, warn, etc
 b.  (as modifier): a sign painter
4.  an arbitrary or conventional mark or device that stands for a word, phrase, etc
5.  maths, logic
 a.  any symbol indicating an operation: a plus sign; an implication sign
 b.  the positivity or negativity of a number, quantity, or expression: subtraction from zero changes the sign of an expression
6.  an indication or vestige: the house showed no signs of being occupied
7.  a portentous or significant event
8.  an indication, such as a scent or spoor, of the presence of an animal
9.  med Compare symptom any objective evidence of the presence of a disease or disorder
10.  astrology Compare sign of the zodiac
vb (often foll by to)
11.  to write (one's name) as a signature to (a document, etc) in attestation, confirmation, ratification, etc
12.  to make a sign; signal
13.  to engage or be engaged by written agreement, as a player for a team, etc
14.  (tr) to outline in gestures a sign over, esp the sign of the cross
15.  (tr) to indicate by or as if by a sign; betoken
16.  (intr) to use sign language
[C13: from Old French signe, from Latin signum a sign]

sign on
1.  (tr) to hire or employ
2.  (intr) to commit oneself to a job, activity, etc
3.  (Brit) (intr) to register as unemployed with the Department of Social Security

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

late 14c., of unknown origin. O.N. had lag "felled tree" (from stem of liggja "to lie"), but on phonological grounds etymologists deny that this is the root of English log. Instead, they suggest an independent formation meant to "express the notion of something massive by a word of appropriate sound."
Logging "act of cutting timber" is from 1706. Logjam "congestion of logs on a river" is from 1885; in the figurative sense it is from 1890. Log cabin in Amer.Eng. has been a figure of the honest pioneer since the 1840 presidential campaign of William Henry Harrison.

"to enter into a log book," 1823, from logbook "daily record of a ship's speed, progress, etc." (1679), which is so called because wooden floats were used to measure a ship's speed. To log in in the computing sense is attested from 1963.

early 13c., "gesture or motion of the hand," from O.Fr. signe "sign, mark, signature," from L. signum "mark, token, indication, symbol," from PIE base *sekw- "point out" (see see). Meaning "a mark or device having some special importance" is recorded from late 13c.; that of
"a miracle" is from c.1300. Sense of "characteristic device attached to the front of an inn, shop, etc., to distinguish it from others" is first recorded mid-15c. Ousted native token. In some uses, the word probably is aphetic for ensign. First record of signage is from 1976. Sign language is recorded from 1847.

c.1300, "to make the sign of the cross," from O.Fr. signer, from L. signare, from signum (see sign (n.)). Sense of "to mark, stamp" is attested from mid-14c.; that of "to affix one's name" is from late 15c. Meaning "to communicate by sign language" is recorded from 1700.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

sign (sīn)

  1. See symptom.

  2. Something that suggests the presence or existence of a fact, condition, or quality.

  3. A trace or vestige, as of disease or life.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
log   (lôg)  Pronunciation Key 
A logarithm.
sign   (sīn)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A body manifestation, usually detected on physical examination or through laboratory tests or xrays, that indicates the presence of abnormality or disease. Compare symptom.

  2. See symbol. See Table at symbol.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Bible Dictionary

Log definition

the smallest measure for liquids used by the Hebrews (Lev. 14:10, 12, 15, 21, 24), called in the Vulgate sextarius. It is the Hebrew unit of measure of capacity, and is equal to the contents of six ordinary hen's eggs=the twelfth part of a him, or nearly a pint.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

sign on

  1. Enlist oneself as an employee, as in Arthur decided to sign on with the new software company. [Late 1800s]

  2. Begin radio or television broadcasting, especially at the beginning of the day, as in What time does the station sign on? [c. 1920]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature