signal Definition

  • 1a gesture, action, or sound that is used to convey information or instructions
  • 2an indication of a state or condition

Using signal: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "signal" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The traffic light turned green as a signal for us to proceed.

  • Example

    He gave me a signal to start the presentation.

  • Example

    The stock market's rise is a signal of economic growth.

  • Example

    The teacher's frown was a signal to stop talking.

signal Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for signal

Idioms Using signal

  • to understand what someone is trying to communicate


    I didn't get the signal that the meeting had been moved to a different room.

  • to give indications about one's intentions or feelings, often unconsciously


    She's been sending out signals that she's not happy with her job.

  • the ratio of useful information to irrelevant or unwanted information in a communication system


    The signal to noise ratio in this recording is too low to hear the speaker clearly.

Phrases with signal

  • conflicting messages or indications about someone's intentions or feelings


    He's been giving me mixed signals about his interest in me.

  • to communicate a message or intention through an action or statement


    By offering the job to her, the company is sending a signal that they value her skills and experience.

  • a strong and unambiguous indication of something


    The sudden drop in sales is a clear signal that we need to change our marketing strategy.

Origins of signal

from Old French 'seignal', from medieval Latin 'signale', neuter of 'signalis', from Latin 'signum', meaning 'mark, token'


Summary: signal in Brief

The term 'signal' [ˈsɪɡnəl] refers to a gesture, action, or sound that conveys information or instructions, or an indication of a state or condition. It can be used in various contexts, such as traffic lights, stock markets, and nonverbal communication. Phrases like 'mixed signals' and 'send a signal' denote conflicting messages and intentional communication, respectively. Idioms like 'get the signal' and 'signal to noise ratio' refer to understanding and the ratio of useful to irrelevant information.

How do native speakers use this expression?