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a. An indicator, such as a gesture or colored light, that serves as a means of communication. See Synonyms at gesture.
b. A message communicated by such means.
2. Something that incites action: The peace treaty was the signal for celebration.
3. Biology A physical entity, such as a chemical or an electromagnetic wave, that activates a cell receptor and elicits a specific response.
a. Electronics An impulse or fluctuating quantity, as of electrical voltage or light intensity, whose variations represent coded information.
b. Computers A sequence of digital values whose variations represent coded information.
5. The sound, image, or message transmitted or received by means of telecommunications.
Notably out of the ordinary: a signal feat; a signal event.
v. sig·naled, sig·nal·ing, sig·nals or sig·nalled or sig·nal·ling
1. To make a signal to: I signaled the driver to proceed.
2. To relate or make known by signals: They have signaled their willingness to negotiate.
3. To cause an effect in (a cell) by the activation of a receptor, as by a neurotransmitter or hormone.
To make a signal or signals.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin signāle, from neuter of Late Latin signālis, of a sign, from Latin signum, sign; see sign.]
sig′nal·er, sig′nal·ler n.
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|Noun||1.||signaling - any nonverbal action or gesture that encodes a message; "signals from the boat suddenly stopped"|
communication - something that is communicated by or to or between people or groups
recording - a signal that encodes something (e.g., picture or sound) that has been recorded
phone number, telephone number, number - the number is used in calling a particular telephone; "he has an unlisted number"
starting signal, start - a signal to begin (as in a race); "the starting signal was a green light"; "the runners awaited the start"
storm signal - a signal announcing the approach of a storm (particularly a storm of marked violence)
beam, radio beam - a signal transmitted along a narrow path; guides airplane pilots in darkness or bad weather
ticktack - system of signalling by hand signs used by bookmakers at racetracks
time signal - a signal (especially electronic or by radio) indicating the precisely correct time
dog-ear - a corner of a page turned down to mark your place
animal communication - communication between animals (of the same species)
distress call, distress signal - an internationally recognized signal sent out by a ship or plane indicating that help is needed
all clear - a signal (usually a siren) that danger is over
bugle call - a signal broadcast by the sound of a bugle
curfew - a signal (usually a bell) announcing the start of curfew restrictions
retreat - (military) a signal to begin a withdrawal from a dangerous position
drumbeat - (military) the beating of a drum as a signal for lowering the flag at sundown
whistle, whistling - the act of signalling (e.g., summoning) by whistling or blowing a whistle; "the whistle signalled the end of the game"
high sign - a silent signal of warning or recognition; "she started to speak but he gave her the high sign"
symbol - an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance
visual signal - a signal that involves visual communication
indicator - a signal for attracting attention
electronic signal - a signal generated by electronic means
radio beacon - a characteristic signal emitted by a transmitter used for navigation