sign on

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See also: signon and sign-on



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.
  2. Alternative form of sign-on
    • 1994, SEC Docket - Volume 57, page 753:
      After 12:30 p.m., no new sign ons are permitted.
    • 1997, Australian Hotelier: Official National Magazine of the Australian Hotels Association, Volume 14:
      However, this commitment today is a strong sign of the level of support being received from the hotel industry, especially in the top line four and five star hotels. “I am confident that the stream of sign ons will continue in the run-up to the cut-off date of the rebate scheme of December 31."
    • 2001, Skipper Lee Frazier, Tighten Up: The Autobiography of a Houston Disc Jockey, ISBN 1552127923:
      He had one of the greatest signs, one of the all time great sign ons in radio.
    • 2010, Dean Browne, IBM Cognos Business Intelligence V10.1: Intelligence Unleashed, ISBN 0738450006:
      Administrators can now elect to have users manage their own data access sign ons, which are stored under a user's profile.


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.”, in 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”, in 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.