sign


sign
{{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}}
noun
1 sth that shows that sth exists/may happen
ADJECTIVE
classic, clear, definite, distinct, obvious, real, sure, telltale, unmistakable

He displayed the classic signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

the telltale signs of drug abuse

telling

The lack of interest in the media is a telling sign of the industry's health.

subtle

I detected the subtle signs of disapproval.

external, outward, visible

All the outward signs of growth in the market are there.

tangible
early, first

Strong dislikes of foods are early signs of pregnancy.

increasing
encouraging, good, healthy, hopeful, positive, promising, welcome

He was silent. It was a good sign.

bad, disturbing, troubling (esp. AmE)
danger, ominous, warning

The warning signs were present from the start.

Are appliances you buy safe? We point out the danger signs.

vital

She checked his vital signs and found that his pulse was slow.

VERB + SIGN
bear, have

The murder had all the signs of a crime of passion.

betray, display, exhibit, give, show

His face betrayed no sign of emotion.

By now the fish was showing signs of distress.

point to sth

Early signs point to business improving.

detect, find, notice, see, spot

We detected signs that they were less than enthusiastic about their honeymoon.

miss
ignore

He ignored the warning signs of mounting health problems.

interpret (sth as), read, recognize, see sth as
look for, watch for

Look carefully for signs of damp.

SIGN + VERB
appear, come

The first signs of spring appeared.

indicate sth, point to sth

All the signs pointed to it being more than just a coincidence.

PREPOSITION
at a/the sign

He disappeared at the first sign of trouble.

sign from

The people regarded the earthquake as a sign from God.

sign of

This move will be seen as a sign of weakness.

There's no sign of the snow stopping.

PHRASES
sign of life

There was no sign of life in the house (= there seemed to be nobody there).

a sign of the times

It's a real sign of the times: thirty small businesses face financial ruin this month.

a sign of things to come

I hope this incident isn't a sign of things to come.

not the least sign (of sb/sth), not the slightest sign (of sb/sth)

He spoke up without the slightest sign of nervousness.

the signs and symptoms

Get this test if you have signs and symptoms of diabetes.

2 board, etc. giving information/a warning
ADJECTIVE
flashing, illuminated (esp. BrE), neon
painted
faded

She spotted a faded sign in the window of a small restaurant.

hand-lettered (AmE), handwritten
home-made (esp. AmE)
cardboard, wooden
exit
pub (BrE), shop (esp. BrE), store (esp. AmE), street
lawn, yard (both AmE)

I put out a lawn sign in my yard (= to show political support).

direction (esp. BrE), highway (esp. AmE), motorway (in the UK), road, traffic
warning
picket (AmE)

He gets $300 a week from the union for carrying a picket sign.

VERB + SIGN
erect, hang, hang out, hang up, place, post (esp. AmE), put up

Someone had put up a ‘For Sale’ sign.

carry, hold up, wave (all esp. AmE)

The demonstrators shouted and waved signs.

wear (usually figurative)

He might as well have been wearing a sign saying ‘I am a tourist’.

see, spot
read
ignore

He yelled at us for ignoring the stop sign.

follow

Just follow the signs for Bridgend.

SIGN + VERB
read sth

The sign read ‘No Fishing’.

announce sth, proclaim sth, say sth, state sth, tell sb sth
bear sth

hundreds of signs bearing the single word ‘Peace’

indicate sth, mark sth

This sign indicates that photography is allowed.

point

The sign pointed down a narrow road.

advertise sth
warn

signs warning against trespass

hang
flash

A neon sign flashed above the door.

PREPOSITION
sign for, sign to

Follow the road and you'll see signs for the turn-off.

3 movement with a particular meaning
ADJECTIVE
rude
peace, thumbs-up, V (usually V-sign)

She made a peace sign while having her picture taken.

VERB + SIGN
give (sb), make

She gave me a thumbs-up sign.

communicate through

They had to communicate through signs and grunts.

SIGN + NOUN
language, system

We used sign language to talk.

PREPOSITION
sign for

the sign for ‘woman’ in sign language

PHRASES
make the sign of the cross

The priest made the sign of the cross over the dead body.

4 mark/symbol with a particular meaning
ADJECTIVE
dollar, euro, pound, etc. (In the US, the pound sign refers to ‘\#’. In the UK, it refers to the currency sign ‘£’.)
equals, minus, plus, etc.
peace

a T-shirt with a peace sign on it

call

Bravo Two Zero was the call sign of an eight-man SAS team.

a pilot who goes by the call sign Blaze

VERB + SIGN
draw

He drew a huge dollar sign on the paper.

use

I used the Chinese sign for ‘father’ instead of ‘uncle’.

SIGN + VERB
mean sth

What does this sign mean?

PREPOSITION
sign for

I can't remember the sign for ‘square root’.

5 star sign
ADJECTIVE
birth, star
astrological, zodiac

the twelve astrological signs

Mars rules the zodiac sign of Aries.

VERB + SIGN
be born under
PREPOSITION
sign of

people born under the sign of Gemini

PHRASES
the signs of the Zodiac
{{Roman}}II.{{/Roman}}
verb
ADVERB
duly

One copy of this letter should be duly signed and returned to us.

formally, officially
personally

a first edition of the book, personally signed by the author

online
up

You can sign up online for language classes.

VERB + SIGN
be required to, have to, need to

This is the contract you will be required to sign.

ask sb to, persuade sb to
agree to
refuse to
want to
be willing to
PREPOSITION
for

The courier asked me to sign for the parcel.

Sign is used with these nouns as the subject: ↑country, ↑president, ↑witness
Sign is used with these nouns as the object: ↑accord, ↑agreement, ↑armistice, ↑artist, ↑autograph, ↑bill, ↑card, ↑ceasefire, ↑charter, ↑cheque, ↑confession, ↑consent, ↑constitution, ↑contract, ↑convention, ↑copy, ↑deal, ↑declaration, ↑decree, ↑directive, ↑document, ↑extension, ↑form, ↑initial, ↑lease, ↑legislation, ↑letter, ↑manifesto, ↑memo, ↑memorandum, ↑minute, ↑name, ↑note, ↑oath, ↑order, ↑pact, ↑paper, ↑paperwork, ↑petition, ↑pitcher, ↑player, ↑pledge, ↑proclamation, ↑receipt, ↑register, ↑slip, ↑treaty, ↑truce, ↑undertaking, ↑warrant, ↑will

Collocations dictionary. 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Sign — Sign, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Signed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Signing}.] [OE. seinen to bless, originally, to make the sign of the cross over; in this sense fr. ASS. segnian (from segn, n.), or OF. seignier, F. signer, to mark, to sign (in sense 3), fr. L …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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