signify

[sig-nuh-fahy]
verb (used with object), signified, signifying.
1.
to make known by signs, speech, or action.
2.
to be a sign of; mean; portend.
verb (used without object), signified, signifying.
3.
to be of importance or consequence.

Origin:
1200–50; Middle English signifien < Old French signifier < Latin significāre to make a sign, indicate, mention, denote. See sign, -ify

signifiable, adjective
unsignifiable, adjective


1. signal, express, indicate. 2. represent, indicate, denote, betoken, imply.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
signify (ˈsɪɡnɪˌfaɪ)
 
vb , -fies, -fying, -fied
1.  (tr) to indicate, show, or suggest
2.  (tr) to imply or portend: the clouds signified the coming storm
3.  (tr) to stand as a symbol, sign, etc (for)
4.  informal (intr) to be significant or important
 
[C13: from Old French signifier, from Latin significāre, from signum a sign, mark + facere to make]
 
'signifiable
 
adj
 
'signifier
 
n

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

signify
mid-13c., from O.Fr. signifier (12c.), from L. significare "to show by signs, mean, signify," from significus (adj.), from signum "sign" (see sign (n.)) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Intrans. sense of "to be of importance" is
attested from 1660s. Meaning "engage in mock-hostile banter" is Amer.Eng. black slang first recorded 1932.
"...'signifying,' which in Harlemese means making a series of oblique remarks apparently addressed to no one in particular, but unmistakable in intention in such a close-knit circle." ["Down Beat," March 7, 1968]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

signify definition


  1. in.
    to cause trouble for fun; to stir things up. (Black.) : What are all these cats signifying about anyway?
  2. in.
    to try to look more important than one really is; to brag; to strut (one's) stuff. (Black.) : See that dude signify like somebody important?
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
The idea is to signify some level of unification and to spread awareness.
Well this aviation observer wonders whether these isolated incidents can
  actually be said to signify anything.
What does this signify given the observations in the article.
Fewer knots don't signify a lower-quality wool rug, but they do mean that the
  rug is more likely to stretch over time.
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