Definition of sign
What does the word sign mean?
part of speech: verb transitive, intransitive
Mark with s. (esp. s. infant &c. with the s. of the cross in baptism); acknowledge or guarantee (letter, deed, picture, book, article, petition, &c., or abs.) as one\'s own production or as having one\'s authority or consent by affixing or having affixed one\'s name or initials or recognized mark (the will had never been signed; a signed masterpiece of Turner\'s; signed as usual with a dicky-bird; does not s. his contributions to the press; nothing shall induce me to s.), whence signable a.; write (one\'s name) as signature; convey (right, property, &c.) away by signing deed &c.; take, acknowledge being taken, on for some employment to which employee binds himself by signature; communicate by gesture (s. assent), give order or make request by gesture to person to do (signed to me to come).
part of speech: noun
Mark traced on surface &c. (esp. the s. of the cross, made by Christian priests in blessing or laymen in reverence with finger on forehead or breast; s. manual, signature written with person\'s own hand); written mark conventionally used for word or phrase, symbol, thing used as representation of something, (positive or plus s., +; negative or minus s., -; words are the ss. of ideas; a sacrament is an outward& visible s. of an inward& spiritual grace); (thing serving as) presumptive evidence or indication or suggestion or symptom of or that, distinctive mark, token, guarantee, password, miracle evidencing supernatural power, portent, (violence is a s. of weakness or that one is weak; shows all the ss. of decay; gave earth& water in s. of submission; by this s. ye shall know them; did ss. & wonders; s. & countersign, secret sentences &c. by which confederates recognize each other; ss. of the times, things showing the tendency of affairs); (often signboard) fanciful device usu. painted on a board displayed formerly by traders of any sort& still by many taverns& some barbers &c. as advertisement of their business (at the s. of the White Hart &c. archaic, formerly used as address); natural or conventional motion or gesture used instead of words to convey information& esp. order or request (gave him a s. to withdraw; deaf-&-dumb ss., those used in finger-talk; make no s., seem unconscious, not protest, &c.); any of twelve divisions of zodiac named from constellations formerly situated in them; s.-painter, of sign-boards, shop-front inscriptions, &c.; signpost, at cross-roads &c. with names of places on each road. [old French]