signal Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “signal” in the English Dictionary

"signal" in British English

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signalnoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈsɪɡ.nəl/
  • 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 ​fireworks were a signal that the ​festival had ​started. [+ to infinitive] The ​policeofficer gave us the signal tostop. The signal for a ​race to ​start is often the ​firing of a ​gun. US (UK indicator) a turn signal

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  • signal noun [C] (WAVE)

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

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  • signal noun [C] (SHOWING)

something that ​shows that something ​elseexists or is ​likely to ​happen: The ​loss is a ​clear signal of his ​deterioratingconfidence. The ​changingcolour 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 ​tellsdrivers to ​stop, ​continue, or go more ​slowly: a ​railway signal a ​traffic signal a ​road signal

signalverb

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

C2 [I or T] to make a ​movement, ​sound, ​flash, etc. that gives ​information or ​tellspeople what to do: Flashing ​lights on a ​parkedcar usually signal a ​warning (to other ​drivers). He signalled ​left, and ​turned the ​lorryslowly. He was signalling (= giving a signal) with a ​redflag. She signalled forhelp. [+ that] She signalled to the ​cars behind her 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.

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  • 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 ​Chinesehistory.

signaladjective [before noun]

uk   us   /ˈsɪɡ.nəl/ formal
(Definition of signal from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"signal" in American English

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signalnoun [C]

 us   /ˈsɪɡ·nəl/
  • signal noun [C] (ACTION)

an ​action, ​movement, or ​sound that gives ​information, a ​message, a ​warning, or an ​order: I ​tried to ​call but ​kept getting a ​busy signal. When the ​lieutenant gave the signal, five ​policeofficerscharged into the ​apartment. In ​retrospect, ​looking at how she was ​acting, we should have been ​able to ​recognize the ​danger signals. A signal is also a ​device, often with ​lights, that ​showspeople or ​vehicles whether to ​stop, go, or move ​carefully.
  • signal noun [C] (WAVE)

a ​series of ​energywaves that ​carry a ​sound, ​picture, or other ​information: a low-frequency ​radio signal

signaladjective

 us   /ˈsɪɡ·nəl/ fml
  • signal adjective (IMPORTANT)

unusual and ​important: You ​performed a signal ​service to ​ourpeople, and we ​wish to ​expressourgratitude.

signalverb [I/T]

 us   /ˈsɪɡ·nəl/
  • signal verb [I/T] (MAKE MOVEMENT)

to make a ​movement, ​sound, etc. that gives ​information or ​tellspeople what to do: [I] When you ​learn to ​drive, you are told that you have to signal before you ​turnright or ​left. [T] The ​policeofficer signaled us to ​stop.
(Definition of signal from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"signal" in Business English

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signalnoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈsɪɡnəl/
a ​sign that something is ​true or that something is going to ​happen: a signal to sb It is a signal to the rest of the ​world that we are serious about ​global warming. aclear/​strong /important signala signal of sth It was a ​strong signal of the ​power now wielded by ​biginstitutionalinvestors. mixed/​conflicting/contradicting signals the right/wrong signal a positive signal
COMMUNICATIONS a ​series of ​electrical or radio ​waves that are ​sent to a radio, ​television, or ​mobilephone in ​order to ​produce a ​sound, ​picture, or ​message: I couldn't get a signal on my ​phone.

signalverb [T]

uk   us   /ˈsɪɡnəl/ ( UK -ll-, US -l-)
to show that something is going to ​happen or that you are going to do something: Drops in ​sales signal a tough ​yearahead.signal that It recently signalled that it would not ​stand in the way of a ​takeoverbid.
(Definition of signal from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“signal” in Business English

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