Dictionary: SIG'NA-TO-RY – SIGN-IOR-Y

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Relating to a seal; used in sealing. – Dict.

SIG'NA-TURE, n. [Fr. from L. signo, to sign.]

  1. A sign, stamp, or mark impressed. The brain being well furnished with various traces, signatures and images. – Watts. The natural and indelible nature of God, stamped on the human soul. – Bentley.
  2. In old medical writers, an external mark or character on a plant which was supposed to indicate its suitableness to cure particular disease, or diseases of particular parts. Thus plants with yellow flowers were supposed to be adapted to the cure of jaundice, &c. Some plants bear a very evident signature of their nature and use. – More.
  3. A mark for proof, or proof from marks.
  4. Sign manual; the name of a person written or subscribed by himself.
  5. Among printers, a letter or figure at the bottom of the first page of a sheet or half sheet, by which the sheets are distinguished and their order designated, as a direction to the binder. Every successive sheet has a different letter or figure, and if the sheets are more numerous than the letters of the alphabet, then a small letter is added to the capital one; thus A a, B b. In large volumes, the signatures are sometimes composed of letters and figures; thus 5 A, or 5 B. But some printers now use figures only for signatures.
  6. In physiognomy, an external mark or feature by which some persons pretend to discover the nature and qualities of a thing, particularly the temper and genius of persons.
  7. In music, the flats and sharps at the beginning of each staff, to mark the key of the movement.


To mark; to distinguish. [Not in use.] – Cheyne.


One who holds to the doctrine of signatures impressed upon objects, indicative of character or qualities. [Little used.] – Brown.


A board on which a man sets a notice of his occupation or of articles for sale.

SIGN-ED, pp.

Marked; subscribed.


One that signs or subscribes his name; as, a memorial with a hundred signers.


A seal; particularly in Great Britain, the seal used by the king in sealing his private letters, and grants that pass by bill under his majesty's hand.

SIG-NIF'I-CANCE, or SIG-NIF'I-CAN-CY, n. [from L. significans. See Signify.]

  1. Meaning; import; that which is intended to be expressed; as, the significance of a raid, or of a motion of the hand, or of a word or expression. – Stillingfleet.
  2. Force; energy; power of impressing the mind; as, a duty enjoined with particular significance. – Atterbury.
  3. Importance; moment; weight; consequence. Many a circumstance of less significancy has been construed into an overt act of high treason. Addison.

SIG-NIF'I-CANT, a. [L. significans.]

  1. Expressive of something beyond the external mark.
  2. Bearing a meaning; expressing or containing signification or sense; as, a significant word or sound; a significant look.
  3. Betokening something; standing as a sign of something. It was well said of Plotinus, that the stars were significant, but not efficient. – Ralegh.
  4. Expressive or representative of some fact or event. The passover among the Jews was significant of the escape of the Israelites from the destruction which fell on the Egyptians. The bread and wine in the sacrament are significant of the body and blood of Christ.
  5. Important; momentous. [Not in use.]


  1. With meaning.
  2. With force of expression. – South.

SIG-NI-FI-CA'TION, n. [Fr. from L. significatio. See Signify.]

  1. The act of making known, or of communicating ideas to another by signs or by words, by any thing that is understood, particularly by words. All speaking or signification of one's mind, implies an act or address of one man to another. – South.
  2. Meaning; that which is understood to be intended by a sign, character, mark or word; that idea or sense of a sign, mark, word or expression which the person using it intends to convey, or that which men in general who use it, understand it to convey. The signification of words was originally arbitrary, and is dependent on usage. But when custom has annexed a certain sense to a letter or sound, or to a combination of letters or sounds, this sense is always to be considered the signification which the person using the word intends to communicate. So by custom, certain signs or gestures have a determined signification. Such is the fact also with figures, algebraic characters, &c.

SIG-NIF'I-CA-TIVE, a. [Fr. significatif.]

  1. Betokening or representing by an external sign; as, the significative symbols of the eucharist. – Brerewood.
  2. Having signification or meaning; expressive of a certain a idea or thing. Neither in the degrees of kindred were they destitute of significative words. – Camden.


So as to represent or express by an external sign. – Usher.


The quality of being significative.


That which signifies. – Burton.


That which betokens, signifies, or represents. – Taylor.


Made known by signs or words.

SIG'NI-FY, v.i.

To express meaning with force. [Little used.]

SIG'NI-FY, v.t. [Fr. signifier; L. significo; signum, a sign, and facio, to make.]

  1. To make known something, either by signs or words; to express or communicate to another any idea, thought, wish, purpose or command, either by words, by a nod, wink, gesture, signal or other sign. A man signifies his mind by his voice or by written characters; he may signify his mind by a nod or other motion, provided the person to whom he directs it, understands what is intended by it. A general or an admiral signifies his commands by signals to officers at a distance.
  2. To mean; to have or contain a certain sense. The word sabbath signifies rest. Less, in composition, as in faithless signifies destitution or want. The prefix re, in recommend, seldom signifies any thing.
  3. To import; to weigh; to have consequence; used in particular phrases; as, it signifies much or little; it signifies nothing. What does it signify? What signify the splendors of a court? Confession of sin without reformation of life, can signify nothing in the view of God.
  4. To make known; to declare. The government should signify to the Protestants of Ireland, that want of silver is not to be remedied. – Swift.


Making known by signs or words.

G, ppr.

Marking; subscribing; signifying by the hand.

SIGN-IOR, n. [see'nyur.]

A title of respect among the Italians. [See Seignor.]

SIGN-IOR-IZE, v.i. [see'nyurize.]

To exercise dominion; or to have dominion. [Little used.]

SIGN-IOR-Y, n. [see'nyury.]

A different, but less common spelling of seigniory, – which see. It signifies lordship, dominion, and in Shakespeare, seniority.