sign on

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sign on ‎(plural sign ons)

  1. (broadcasting) The time of day when a radio or television station begins broadcasting, usually after being off the air for several hours.
    Sign on for the radio station is at 5 a.m.


sign on ‎(third-person singular simple present signs on, present participle signing on, simple past and past participle signed on)

  1. To join something, after signing.
  2. To commit oneself, as to a project, a goal, on organization, a cause.
    • 1997 September, Bernard A. Weisberger, “What made the government grow.”, American Heritage, volume 48, number 5, page 34: 
      By January of 1996 President Clinton himself had apparently signed on with his declaration in the State of the Union message that "the era of big government is over."
    • 2011 March 26, Amanda Paulson, “How to fix America's worst schools”, Christian Science Monitor:
      As a result, all the teachers at Phillips have signed on to a certain curriculum and follow common practices in the classroom.
    • I never signed on for this.
  3. (broadcasting) To begin broadcasting a radio or television signal, usually at the beginning of a broadcasting day and after being off the air for several hours.
    • Years ago, the TV station would sign on at 5 a.m., but now it broadcasts 24 hours a day.
  4. (idiomatic) To log on; to start using a computer, radio, etc., or to start talking.
  5. (Britain, intransitive) To receive unemployment benefits.
    • 1999, Madeleine St John, A Stairway to Paradise, Chapter 28
      Oh, one thing led to another; you know. I just sort of faffed around — I just did odd jobs; and sometimes in between I signed on.