I UK [ˈsɪɡn(ə)l] / US [ˈsɪɡnəl] noun [countable]
Word forms "signal":
singular signal plural signals
a) a movement or sound made by someone that has a special meaning to another person
give (someone) a signal:

We waited for them to give us the signal to move.

signal to:

He gave a signal to his driver to carry on.

at a signal:

At the prearranged signal, we all jumped up and shouted "Surprise!"

do something as a signal (of something):

They waved a flag as a signal of distress.

mixed/conflicting signals (= signals that have different meanings):

She knew she was sending him mixed signals.

b) information sent from one thing or person to another using a piece of equipment or an organized system

sailors practising their semaphore signals

2) a fact, event, or action that shows what someone intends to do or shows what is likely to happen
signal of:

They had ignored the strong signals of an approaching economic crisis.

signal for/to:

The election was a signal for the party to rethink its strategies.

give/send a signal:

In terms of their personal relationships, teachers have to be very careful not to send students the wrong signals.

read the signals (= understand their meaning correctly):

When she told him she was leaving, Bill wasn't surprised – he had read the signals.

Adjectives frequently used with signal
▪  clear, important, powerful, strong, unmistakable
3) pictures, sound, or other information sent by one piece of electronic equipment and received by another one

radio signals

carry a signal:

The copper wire carries the electrical signals.

Verbs frequently used with signal as the object ▪  carry, emit, generate, give, produce, send (out), transmit
4) a piece of equipment with coloured lights on it that tells the driver of a vehicle to stop, go, or slow down

The signal was at green.

II UK [ˈsɪɡn(ə)l] / US [ˈsɪɡnəl] verb
Word forms "signal":
present tense I/you/we/they signal he/she/it signals present participle signalling past tense signalled past participle signalled
1) [intransitive/transitive] to make a movement or sound that has a special meaning to another person

The cyclist signalled and turned right.

signal to someone:

He signalled frantically across the room to his wife.

signal (to) someone to do something:

The driver signalled her to cross the road.

signal that:

He flashed his torch to signal that he was ready.

2) [transitive] to show that something is happening or will happen

This agreement signalled the end of the war.

signal that:

The new tax signalled that the government was serious about the environment.

3) [transitive] if you signal a quality or your feelings, you show what you intend to do about something

The kidnappers have signalled their willingness to negotiate.

Both parties have signalled their determination to win.

III UK [ˈsɪɡn(ə)l] / US [ˈsɪɡnəl] adjective very formal
especially important and noticeable

a signal honour

English dictionary. 2014.

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