Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.signaling - any nonverbal action or gesture that encodes a messagesignaling - 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)
alarum, warning signal, alarm, alert - an automatic signal (usually a sound) warning of danger
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
radiotelegraphic signal, telegraphic signal - a signal transmitted by telegraphy
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
input, input signal - signal going into an electronic system
output signal, output - signal that comes out of an electronic system
References in periodicals archive ?
3 special signals; Three signal groups for reactive signaling.
VC2, which is mapped to TC6 for error signaling, has two of the seven time slots.
The upgrade introduces Sigtran -- Internet protocol (IP)-based signaling system 7 (SS7) signaling, enabling T-Mobile to make a smooth transition to IP-based platforms and services.
If distant civilizations were deliberately signaling to Earth, scientists believe they'd have a better chance of detecting the message.
amp; HONG KONG -- Tekelec (NASDAQ:TKLC), a leading developer of high-performance network applications for next-generation fixed, mobile and packet networks, today announced during the ITU Telecom World 2006 conference that it has deployed upgrades for the EAGLE 5 Integrated Signaling System (ISS), the industry's global market share leading signaling platform.
These include the signaling, byte, packet, command, transaction, and application layers.
Because data is encoded using 8b/10b encoding (an 80% efficient encoding used with digital differential signaling to maintain a constant average DC bias point), the effective maximum throughput is 150MB/sec.
In turn, the mismatch will create poor signal quality that does not meet the SCSI signaling requirements.
An integrated SBC, like Acme Packet's Net-Net 4000 or 9000 SD configurations, integrates signaling and media control in a single hardware-based system.
LAS VEGAS -- SS7 Signaling Converter Solution Enables Transition to Converged Networks
Tekelec (NASDAQ: TKLC), a leading developer of telecommunications products for next-generation fixed, mobile and packet networks, today announced the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has deployed several Tekelec EAGLE(R) 5 Signaling Applications System platforms to upgrade the United States Department of Defense (DoD) voice communications network.
Within the extended IMS architecture, two different types of session border controllers integrating signaling and media control play very important roles.