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
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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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Example sentences for signatures
After the signatures are folded and gathered, they move into the bindery.
One of the signatures of the genre is the guitar power chord.
Difficult key signatures and numerous accidentals were thus largely avoided.
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