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Meaning of “signal” in the English Dictionary

"signal" in British English

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signalnoun [C]

uk   /ˈsɪɡ.nəl/ 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 police officer gave us the signal to stop. 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] (SHOWING)

something that shows that something else exists or is likely to happen: The loss 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


uk   /ˈsɪɡ.nəl/ 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 tells people what to do: Flashing lights on a parked car usually signal a warning (to other drivers). 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 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 Chinese history.

signaladjective [before noun]

uk   /ˈsɪɡ.nəl/ 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 police officers charged 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 shows people or vehicles whether to stop, go, or move carefully.
  • signal noun [C] (WAVE)

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


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

unusual and important: You performed a signal service to our people, and we wish to express our gratitude.

signalverb [I/T]

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

to make a movement, sound, etc. that gives information or tells people what to do: [I] When you learn to drive, you are told that you have to signal before you turn right or left. [T] The police officer 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   /ˈsɪɡnəl/ us  
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. a clear/strong /important signala signal of sth It was a strong signal of the power now wielded by big institutional investors. 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 mobile phone in order to produce a sound, picture, or message: I couldn't get a signal on my phone.

signalverb [T]

uk   /ˈsɪɡnəl/ us   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 year ahead.signal that It recently signalled that it would not stand in the way of a takeover bid.
(Definition of signal from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“signal” in Business English

Watching the detectorists
Watching the detectorists
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May 31, 2016
by Colin McIntosh You could be forgiven for thinking that old-fashioned hobbies that don’t involve computers have fallen out of favour. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, the internet has made it easier for people with specialist hobbies from different corners of the world to come together to support one another

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