1 /saIn/ noun
1 STH THAT PROVES STH (C) an event, fact etc that shows that something is happening or that something is true; indication: sign of: The tests can detect early signs of disease. | sign that: Exports have risen by 20%, a sign that the economy is improving. | a sure sign (=clear proof): You know Eric, if he won't eat, it's a sure sign that he's in love again! | telltale sign (=a sign that is easy to recognize, usually of something bad): telltale signs of drug abuse. | show signs of: For the first time she was beginning to show signs of her age. | every sign of (=clear signs of): They showed every sign of being willing to cooperate.
2 there's no sign of
a) if there is no sign of something, you cannot see anything which shows that it exists or has happened: The police looked all around the house, but there was no sign of a struggle.
b) if there is no sign of someone, you cannot see them anywhere, or they have not arrived when you expected them to: Jerry kept looking out of the window, but there was still no sign of her.
3 MOVEMENT OR SOUND (C) a movement, sound etc that you make in order to tell someone to do something or give them information; gesture 1 (1): give/make a sign: Nobody move until I give the sign.
(+ that): Bruce made a sign that he was ready to leave. | sign for sb to do sth: Three short blasts on the whistle was the sign for us to begin.
4 GIVES INFORMATION (C) a piece of paper, metal etc in a public place, with words or drawings on it that give people information, warn them not to do something etc: road signs | a no smoking sign
5 PICTURE/SYMBOL (C) a picture, shape etc that has a particular meaning; symbol: For some reason the computer can't display the dollar sign.
6 STAR SIGN (countable also) also star sign a group of stars, representing one of 12 parts of the year, that some people believe influences your behaviour and your life: I'm a Scorpio - what sign are you?
7 LANGUAGE (U) a language that uses hand movements instead of spoken words, used by people who cannot hear; sign language
8 sign of life a movement that shows that someone is alive, or something that shows that there are people in a particular place: We entered the building with caution but strangely there was no sign of life.
9 sign of the times something that shows how bad society has become: So many houses have burglar alarms nowadays. It's a sign of the times I suppose.
10 the sign of the Cross the hand movement that some Christians make in the shape of a cross, to show respect for God or to protect themselves from evil
2 verb
1 (I, T) to write your signature on a letter or document to show that you wrote it, agree with it: Sign here please. | sign sth: You forgot to sign the check! | Over a hundred people have signed the petition. | a signed photo of Paul McCartney | sign your name: The artist had signed his name in the corner of the painting.
2 sign an agreement/treaty etc to show formally that you agree to do something, by signing a legal document: Both presidents signed the treaty as part of the new peace plan. | sign sth with sb: France has just signed a new trade deal with Japan.
3 (T) if an organization such as a football team or music company signs someone, that person signs a contract agreeing to work for it: CBS Records had signed her back in 1988 on a three-album contract.
4 (I) to try to tell someone something or ask them to do something by using signs and movements: sign to sb to do sth: He was desperately signing to me to not mention anything about Jack. | sign for sb to do sth: She signed for us to go inside.
5 all signed and sealed with all the necessary legal documents agreed and signed: It'll all be signed and sealed by Friday, you can move in then.
6 (I, T) to use sign language: The whole performance was signed (=translated into sign language) by a local interpreter.
— signer noun (C) sign sth away phrasal verb (T) to sign a document that gives your property or legal right to someone else: She had signed away all claims to the house. sign for sth phrasal verb (T)
1 to sign a document to prove that you have received something: This is a registered letter, someone will have to sign for it.
2 sign for Liverpool/Arsenal etc BrE to sign a contract agreeing to play for a particular football team
sign in phrasal verb
1 (I) to write your name on a form, in a book etc when you enter a place such as a hotel, office or club: Remember to sign in at reception.
2 (transitive sign someone in) to write someone else's name in a book so that they are allowed to enter a club that you are a member of
sign off phrasal verb (I)
1 informal to end a radio or television programme by saying goodbye
2 to finish an informal letter by writing your name at the end of it: It's getting late so I'll sign off now. Love, John.
sign on phrasal verb
1 (I, T) to sign a document agreeing to work for someone, especially as a soldier, sailor etc, or to persuade someone to do this: He signed on as a soldier in the US army. | sign sb on: I went to the local recruiting office and was signed on for three years.
2 (I) BrE to state officially that you are unemployed by signing a form, so that you can get money from the government
sign out phrasal verb
1 (I) to write your name in a book when you leave a place such as a hotel, office or club
2 (transitive sign something out) to write your name on a form or in a book to show that you have taken or borrowed something: Bernstein signed out a company car and drove to the meeting.
sign sth over phrasal verb (T) to sign an official document that gives your property or rights to someone else (+ to): When he became ill, he signed his property in France over to his son. sign up phrasal verb
1 (transitive usually passive) if someone is signed up by an organization, they sign a contract agreeing to work for that organization: Several well-established researchers have been signed up for the project.
2 (I) to arrange to take part in a course of study
(+ for): I'm thinking of signing up for the philosophy course this term. | sign up to do sth: Over half the people who signed up to do engineering were women. sign with sth phrasal verb (T)
1 AmE to sign a contract agreeing to play for a particular sports team
2 to sign a contract agreeing that a particular company has the right to record and sell your music

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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