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From Old French signifier, from Latin significare.


  • IPA(key): /ˈsɪɡ nəˌfaɪ/
  • Hyphenation: sig‧ni‧fy


signify (third-person singular simple present signifies, present participle signifying, simple past and past participle signified)

  1. To give (something) a meaning or an importance.
  2. To show one’s intentions with a sign etc.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      I'll to the king; and signify to him / That thus I have resign'd my charge to you.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Jonathan Swift
      The government should signify to the Protestants of Ireland that want of silver is not to be remedied.
  3. To mean; to betoken.
    • (Can we date this quote?) William Shakespeare
      A tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing.


Derived terms[edit]


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