signify

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v signify denote or connote "`maison' means `house' in French","An example sentence would show what this word means"
    • v signify convey or express a meaning "These words mean nothing to me!","What does his strange behavior signify?"
    • v signify make known with a word or signal "He signified his wish to pay the bill for our meal"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The term "throw one's hat in the ring" comes from boxing, where throwing a hat into the ring once signified a challenge. Today it nearly always signifies political candidacy.
    • Signify To mean; to import; to denote; to betoken. "He bade her tell him what it signified .""A tale
      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing."
    • Signify To show by a sign; to communicate by any conventional token, as words, gestures, signals, or the like; to announce; to make known; to declare; to express; as, a signified his desire to be present. "I 'll to the king; and signify to him
      That thus I have resign'd my charge to you."
      "The government should signify to the Protestants of Ireland that want of silver is not to be remedied."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: This is what the red, white, and blue on the US flag represent: The Continental Congress left no record to show why it chose the colors. However, in 1782, the Congress of the Confederation chose these same colors for the Great Seal of the United States and listed their meaning as follows: white to mean purity and innocence, red for valor and hardiness, and blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. According to legend, George Washington interpreted the elements of the flag this way: the stars were taken from the sky, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified the secession from the home country. However, there is no official designation or meaning for the colors of the flag.
    • signify To be a sign or token of (a fact or pretended fact); represent or suggest, either naturally or conventionally; betoken; mean.
    • signify To import, in the Paracelsian sense. See signature, 2.
    • signify To import relatively; have the purport or bearing of; matter in regard to (something expressed or implied): as, that signifies little or nothing to us; it signifies much.
    • signify To make known by signs, speech, or action; communicate; give notice of; announce; declare.
    • signify To exhibit as a sign or representation; make as a similitude.
    • signify Synonyms To manifest, intimate, denote, imply, indicate.
    • signify To have import or meaning; be of consequence; matter.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The gesture of a nose tap, in Britain, means secrecy or confidentiality. In Italy, a tap to the nose signifies a friendly warning.
    • v.t Signify sig′ni-fī to make known by a sign or by words: to mean: to indicate or declare: to have consequence
    • v.i Signify to be of consequence:—pa.t. and pa.p. sig′nifīed
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Quotations

  • Joseph Heller
    Joseph Heller
    “Like Olympic medals and tennis trophies, all they signified was that the owner had done something of no benefit to anyone more capably than everyone else.”
  • Greek Proverb
    Greek Proverb
    “A beard signifies lice, not brains.”
  • Germaine De Stael
    Germaine De Stael
    “The sense of this word among the Greeks affords the noblest definition of it; enthusiasm signifies God in us.”
  • Ezra Pound
    Ezra%20Pound
    “I dunno what my 23 infantile years in America signify. I left as soon as motion was autarchic -- I mean my motion.”
  • Proverb
    Proverb
    “A misty morning does not signify a cloudy day.”
  • William Shakespeare
    William%20Shakespeare
    “Life It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury; signifying nothing.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. signifier, L. significare,; signum, a sign + -ficare,in comp.) to make. See Sign (n.), and -fy

Usage

In literature:

I think, but am not certain, this look also signified: Would-be Lovelace!
"The Cross of Berny" by Emile de Girardin
The "seven lamps of fire burning before the throne" are said to signify the seven spirits of God.
"The Revelation Explained" by F. Smith
It is clear, however, that the woman signifies, not a single individual, but the church.
"The Last Reformation" by F. G. [Frederick George] Smith
This he found, and signified the same by signal.
"A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14" by Robert Kerr
It is used to signify divers things: as, 1.
"The Divine Right of Church Government" by Sundry Ministers Of Christ Within The City Of London
The word is used in both senses, and also to signify a picture.
"Plutarch's Lives, Volume II" by Aubrey Stewart & George Long
I suppose you know that the name of one of their gods, Beelzebub, signifies the Lord of Flies.
"Books and Habits from the Lectures of Lafcadio Hearn" by Lafcadio Hearn
The third sort they call Connameia, signifying a blind Bee.
"An Historical Relation Of The Island Ceylon In The East Indies" by Robert Knox
What did my tears signify to any one?
"The Doctor's Dilemma" by Hesba Stretton
As a symbol it generally signifies organized society, over which the Most High presides.
"Notes On The Apocalypse" by David Steele
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In poetry:

A fragment from a wreck I lie,
tossed by a cruel tempest frothing;
alone; I dare, and I defy:
all merely signifying nothing.
"Tumble Out Of The Flood: [Bukj föl az árból]" by Attila Jozsef
To one who to tradition clings
This seems an awkward state of things,
But if to think it out you try,
It doesn't really signify.
"My Dream" by William Schwenck Gilbert
There's nought but care on every han'
In every hour that passes, O;
What signifies the life o' man,
An 'twere na for the lasses, O?
"Green Grow The Rashes" by Robert Burns
Through Jacob would the gift be given
Of Jesus to this sinful earth;
God signified within this vision
Glad news of our Redeemer's birth;
"Alone" by Nancy Rebecca Campbell Glass
Sev'n lamps, bright-gleaming, hung on high,
Which holy graces signify,
With wondrous lustre, always shine
Before th' Almighty's throne divine.
"Concerning The New Jerusalem" by Rees Prichard
I don't mind kings and dukes and things;
I don't mind wigs or maces;
I don't mind crowns or robes or gowns
Or ruffles, swords or laces -
But what I do object to, and some others more than I,
Are the mad old, bad old practices these baubles signify.
"A Few Remarks on Goats, Asses and the Dead Hand" by C J Dennis

In news:

For me, nothing signifies fall as poetically and viscerally as seeing pumpkins in a patch.
For me, nothing signifies the end of summer as poetically and viscerally as seeing pumpkins in a patch.
On the 59th anniversary of the armistice signifying the end of the Korean War, North Korean veterans pledged their support to new leader Kim Jong-un.
JD McPherson — Signs & Signifiers.
Deal signifies strategic commitment to consulting services and expands FIS' international presence and "footprint" among large US and global institutions.
What does Prada signify to you.
San Bernardino County, CA — Memorial Day weekend signifies the start of the summer travel season, and will also be a Maximum Enforcement Period for the California Highway Patrol.
Danny Heller makes paintings of the Southern California landscape and the buildings that signify Southern California.
Both times, most recently in 2002, Droste put down her deposit, signifying her interest.
The once ubiquitous typeface, which is still the signifier of accessible modernism (Hello Target.
'Sound and Fury , Signifying Nothing': The Direct-Mail Poetry of Election 2012, Cont.
Gill 's hire signified a deeper commitment to those projects.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Memorial Day signifies family and families across West Michigan are searching for ways to occupy their weekend.
Does Russell Pearce's Recall Election in Arizona Signify A Shift in Attitudes Towards Immigrants.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Signs on the Strip and in downtown Las Vegas are going purple to signify a stand against bullying and support for gay and lesbian teens.
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In science:

In a weighted graph, each edge (vi , vj ) has an associated weight wij > 0 signifying its “strength”.
Graph Kernels
Let [Φ]t signify the ≡t -equivalence class of Φ.
A better algorithm for random k-SAT
Let one run of the distinguishing attack signify guessing all possible k3 values, and executing the previous section’s attack for each key.
Statistics of Random Permutations and the Cryptanalysis Of Periodic Block Ciphers
For two topologies T and T ′ on the same set X , we write T ⊂ T ′ to signify that T ′ is stronger than or equal to T (i.e., every T -open subset of X is T ′ -open).
Optimal Observables for Minimum-Error State Discrimination in General Probabilistic Theories
Notice that we use the ˆ-notation to signify that ˆδ is a lift of δ but it is not an image under the map ˆ.
Conjugation in Brauer algebras and applications to character theory
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