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signal

[sig-nl] /ˈsɪg nl/
noun
1.
anything that serves to indicate, warn, direct, command, or the like, as a light, a gesture, an act, etc.:
a traffic signal; a signal to leave.
2.
anything agreed upon or understood as the occasion for concerted action.
3.
an act, event, or the like that causes or incites some action:
The unjust execution was the signal for revolt.
4.
a token; indication.
5.
Electronics. an electrical quantity or effect, as current, voltage, or electromagnetic waves, that can be varied in such a way as to convey information.
6.
Cards. a play that reveals to one's partner a wish that he or she continue or discontinue the suit led.
adjective
7.
serving as a signal; used in signaling:
a signal flag.
8.
unusual; notable; outstanding:
a signal exploit.
verb (used with object), signaled, signaling or (especially British) signalled, signalling.
9.
to make a signal to.
10.
to communicate or make known by a signal.
verb (used without object), signaled, signaling or (especially British) signalled, signalling.
11.
to make communication by a signal or signals.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English (noun) < Medieval Latin signāle, Late Latin, noun use of neuter of signālis of a sign. See sign, -al2, -al1
Related forms
signaler; especially British, signaller, noun
presignal, noun, verb (used with object), presignaled, presignaling or (especially British) presignalled, presignaling.
resignal, verb, resignaled, resignaling or (especially British) resignalled, resignalling.
unsignaled, adjective
unsignalled, adjective
Can be confused
signal, single.
Synonyms
1, 4. sign. 8. unique, exceptional, remarkable, striking.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for signal
  • What is the best way of sending a strong signal to the boss that he should not be blaming me.
  • Taking on debt might signal that a company is confident about future profits.
  • Radioactive sulphur signal adds to evidence of catastrophe.
  • Complexity researchers who study the behavior of stock markets may have identified a signal that precedes crashes.
  • The desire to read ahead is supposed to signal ambition and achievement.
  • The strength of the signal might vary with the size and location of the tattoo.
  • Suggest that, as they read, students look for words that signal comparisons to help them better understand the story.
  • It's the signal for me and my six crewmates to go to work.
  • Small sugar fragments can set off a signal cascade that increases inflammation and scar formation.
  • The case does appear to reduce the amount of radiation your head absorbs, without cutting signal strength.
British Dictionary definitions for signal

signal

/ˈsɪɡnəl/
noun
1.
any sign, gesture, token, etc, that serves to communicate information
2.
anything that acts as an incitement to action the rise in prices was a signal for rebellion
3.
  1. a variable parameter, such as a current or electromagnetic wave, by which information is conveyed through an electronic circuit, communications system, etc
  2. the information so conveyed
  3. (as modifier) signal strength, a signal generator
adjective
4.
distinguished or conspicuous
5.
used to give or act as a signal
verb -nals, -nalling, -nalled (US) -nals, -naling, -naled
6.
to communicate (a message, etc) to (a person)
Derived Forms
signaller, (US) signaler, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Old French seignal, from Medieval Latin signāle, from Latin signum sign
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for signal
n.

late 14c., "visible sign, indication," from Old French signal, seignal "seal, imprint, sign, mark," from Medieval Latin signale "a signal," from Late Latin signalis (adj.) "used as a signal, pertaining to a sign," from Latin signum "signal, sign" (see sign (n.)). Restricted sense "agreed-upon sign (to commence or desist, etc.) is from 1590s. Meaning "modulation of an electric current" is from 1855.

adj.

"remarkable, striking, notable" ("serving as a sign"), 1640s, from French signalé, past participle of signaler "to distinguish, signal" (see signal (n.)).

v.

1805, "to make signals to," from signal (n.). Related: Signaled; signaling. Earlier verb was signalize (1650s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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signal in Science
signal
  (sĭg'nəl)   
A fluctuating quantity or impulse whose variations represent information. The amplitude or frequency of voltage, current, electric field strength, light, and sound can be varied as signals representing information.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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signal in Technology

language
A synchronous language by Le Guernic et al of INRIA.
["SIGNAL - A Data Flow-Oriented Language for Signal Processing," P. le Guernic, IEEE Trans Acoustics Speech & Signal Proc, ASSP-34(2):362-1986-04-374].
(1996-12-10)

operating system
A predefined message sent between two Unix processes or from the kernel to a process. Signals communicate the occurrence of unexpected external events such as the forced termination of a process by the user. Each signal has a unique number associated with it and each process has a signal handler set for each signal. Signals can be sent using the kill system call.
(1996-12-10)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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