signature

[sig-nuh-cher, -choor]
noun
1.
a person's name, or a mark representing it, as signed personally or by deputy, as in subscribing a letter or other document.
2.
the act of signing a document.
3.
Music. a sign or set of signs at the beginning of a staff to indicate the key or the time of a piece.
4.
Radio. a song, musical arrangement, sound effect, etc., used as a theme identifying a program.
5.
any unique, distinguishing aspect, feature, or mark.
6.
Medicine/Medical. that part of a written prescription that specifies directions for use.
7.
Biology, Medicine/Medical. a distinctive characteristic or set of characteristics by which a biological structure or medical condition is recognized.
8.
Also called section. Bookbinding. a printed sheet folded to page size for binding together, with other such sheets, to form a book, magazine, etc.
9.
Printing.
a.
a letter or other symbol generally placed by the printer at the foot of the first page of every sheet to guide the binder in folding the sheets and in gathering them in sequence.
b.
a sheet so marked.
10.
Chemistry, Physics. a characteristic trace or sign that indicates the presence of a substance or the occurrence of a physical process or event: The satellite recorded a spectrum that is the signature of a nuclear explosion.
adjective
11.
serving to identify or distinguish a person, group, etc.: a signature tune.

Origin:
1525–35; < Medieval Latin signātūra a signing, equivalent to Latin signāt(us) past participle of signāre to mark (see sign, -ate1) + -ūra -ure

signatureless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
signature (ˈsɪɡnɪtʃə)
 
n
1.  the name of a person or a mark or sign representing his name, marked by himself or by an authorized deputy
2.  the act of signing one's name
3.  a.  a distinctive mark, characteristic, etc, that identifies a person or thing
 b.  (as modifier): a signature fragrance
4.  music key signature See time signature
5.  (US) Sig, Abbreviation: S the part of a medical prescription that instructs a patient how frequently and in what amounts he should take a drug or agent
6.  printing
 a.  a sheet of paper printed with several pages that upon folding will become a section or sections of a book
 b.  such a sheet so folded
 c.  a mark, esp a letter, printed on the first page of a signature
 
[C16: from Old French, from Medieval Latin signātura, from Latin signāre to sign]

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

signature
1534, a kind of document in Scottish law, from M.Fr. signature (16c.), from M.L. signatura "sign," in classical L. "the matrix of a seal," from signatus, pp. of signare "to mark, sign" (see sign). Meaning "one's own name written in one's own hand" is from 1580, replacing sign-manual
(1428) in this sense.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

signature sig·na·ture (sĭg'nə-chər)
n.
The part of a physician's prescription containing directions to the patient.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

signature definition


1. A set of function symbols with arities.
2. (Or sig) A few lines of information about the sender of an electronic mail message or news posting. Most Unix mail and news software will automagically append a signature from a file called .signature in the user's home directory to outgoing mail and news.
A signature should give your real name and your e-mail address since, though these appear in the headers of your messages, they may be munged by intervening software. It is currently (1994) hip to include the URL of your home page on the World-Wide Web in your sig.
The composition of one's sig can be quite an art form, including an ASCII logo or one's choice of witty sayings (see sig quote, fool file). However, large sigs are a waste of bandwidth, and it has been observed that the size of one's sig block is usually inversely proportional to one's prestige on the net.
See also doubled sig, sig virus.
2. A concept very similar to abstract base classes except that they have their own hierarchy and can be applied to compiled classes. Signatures provide a means of separating subtyping and inheritance. They are implemented in C++ as patches to GCC 2.5.2 by Gerald Baumgartner .
(ftp://ftp.cs.purdue.edu/pub/gb/).
(2001-01-05)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Everyone knows someone with an e-mail signature blames their typos on their
  phone, of course.
These bits are easily detected, and provide a molecular signature by which one
  prion strain can be compared to another.
The incorporation of many heavy isotopes and the presence of rare polyols is a
  signature of extraterrestrial materials.
The indirect signature of hunters can also be seen in the ecological record.
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