Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “signal”

See all translations

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 ( UK indicator) a turn signal
More examples

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
More examples

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.
More examples

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
Translations of “signal”
in Korean 신호, 통신…
in Arabic إشارة, إشارة البَثّ…
in French signal, feu…
in Turkish işaret, sinyal, radyo/televizyon sinyali…
in Italian segnale…
in Chinese (Traditional) 行動, 信號, (車輛)轉向燈…
in Russian команда, знак, сигнал…
in Polish sygnał, znak, oznaka…
in Spanish señal…
in Portuguese sinal…
in German das Signal…
in Catalan senyal…
in Japanese 合図, 信号, 電波…
in Chinese (Simplified) 行动, 信号, (车辆)转向灯…
(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

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More