Definition for SIGN

SIGN, n. [sine; Fr. signe; It. segno; Sp. seña; L. signum; Sax. segen; Arm. sygn, syn; Ir. sighin; G. zeichen; Sans. zaga. From the last three words it appears that n is not radical; the elements being Sg. If so, and the G. zeichen is of this family, then we learn that sign is only a dialectical orthography of token, for zeichen is the D. teeken, Dan. tegn, Sw. tecken, coinciding perhaps with Gr. δεικνυμι.]

  1. A token; something by which another thing is shown or represented; any visible thing, any motion, appearance or event which indicates the existence or approach of something else. Thus we speak of signs of fair weather or of a storm, and of external marks which are signs of a good constitution.
  2. A motion, action, nod or gesture indicating a wish or command. They made signs to his father, how he would have him called. – Luke i.
  3. A wonder; a miracle; a prodigy; a remarkable transaction, event or phenomenon. Through mighty signs and wonders. – Rom. xv. Luke xxi.
  4. Some visible transaction, event or appearance intended as proof or evidence of something else; hence, proof; evidence by eight. Show me a sign that thou talkest with me. – Judges vi.
  5. Something hung or set near a house or over a door, to give notice of the tenant's occupation, or what is made or sold within; as, a trader's sign; a tailor's sign; the sign of the eagle.
  6. A memorial or monument; something to preserve the memory of a thing. What time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men and they became a sign. – Num. xxvi.
  7. Visible mark or representation; as, an outward sign of an inward and spiritual grace.
  8. A mark of distinction.
  9. Typical representation. The holy symbols or signs are not barely significative. – Brerewood.
  10. In astronomy, the twelfth part of the ecliptic. The signs are reckoned from the point of intersection of the ecliptic and equator at the vernal equinox, and are named respectively, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces. These are borrowed from the constellations of the zodiac of the same denomination, which were respectively comprehended within the foregoing equal divisions of the ecliptic at the time when those divisions were first made; but on account of the precession of the equinoxes, the positions of these constellations in the heavens no longer correspond with the divisions of the ecliptic of the same name, but are considerably in advance of them. Thus the constellation Aries, is now in that part of the ecliptic called Taurus.
  11. In algebra, a character indicating the relation or quantities, of an operation performed by them; as the sign + (plus) prefixed to a quantity, indicates that the quantity is to be added; the sign - (minus) denotes that the quantity to which it is prefixed is to be subtracted. The former is prefixed to quantities called affirmative or positive; the latter to quantities called negative.
  12. The subscription of one's name; signature; as, a sign manual.
  13. Among physicians, an appearance or symptom in the human body, which indicates its condition as to health or disease.
  14. In music, any character, as a flat, sharp, dot, &c. Sign manual, one's own name written by himself.

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