Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “signal”

signal

noun [C] uk   /ˈsɪɡ.nəl/ us  

signal noun [C] (ACTION)

B2 an action, movement, or sound that gives information, a message, a warning, or an order: When she gave (them) the signal, they all cheered. [+ that] The firework was a signal that the festival had started. [+ to infinitive] The police officer gave us a signal to stop. The signal for a race to start is often the firing of a gun. US for indicator

signal noun [C] (WAVE)

B2 a series of electrical or radio waves that are sent to a radio or television in order to produce a sound, picture, or message

signal noun [C] (SHOWING)

something that shows that something else exists or is likely to happen: The poor result is a clear signal of his deteriorating confidence. The changing colour of the leaves on the trees is a signal that it will soon be autumn.

signal noun [C] (EQUIPMENT)

equipment, especially on the side of a railway or road, often with lights, that tells drivers to stop, continue, or go more slowly: a railway signal a traffic signal a road signal

signal

verb uk   /ˈsɪɡ.nəl/ (-ll- or US usually -l-) us  

signal verb (ACTION)

C2 [I or T] to make a movement, sound, flash, etc. that gives information or tells people what to do: Flashing lights on a parked car usually signal a warning (to other motorists). He signalled left, and turned the lorry slowly. He was signalling (= giving a signal) with a red flag. She signalled for help. [+ that] She signalled to the cars behind that they were going the wrong way. [+ obj + to infinitive ] The children's mother signalled them to be quiet. [+ to infinitive] The children's mother signalled to/for them to be quiet.

signal verb (SHOW)

[T] to show that you intend or are ready to do something: [+ that] The union has signalled that the workers will strike. The union has signalled the workers' intention to strike. The death of Chairman Mao signalled (= marked) the end of an era in Chinese history.

signal

adjective [before noun] uk   /ˈsɪɡ.nəl/ formal us  
noticeable and unusual: a signal success/failure
(Definition of signal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of signal?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “signal” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

maiden

a girl or young woman

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More