Definition of signify verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    signify

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪ//
     
    (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they signify
    BrE BrE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪ//
     
    he / she / it signifies
    BrE BrE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪz//
     
    past simple signified
    BrE BrE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪd//
     
    past participle signified
    BrE BrE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪd//
     
    -ing form signifying
    BrE BrE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪɡnɪfaɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[transitive] to be a sign of something synonym mean signify something This decision signified a radical change in their policies. What does the term ‘patrician’ signify? signify that… This mark signifies that the products conform to an approved standard. The white belt signifies that he's an absolute beginner.
  2. 2[transitive] to do something to make your feelings, intentions, etc. known signify something She signified her approval with a smile. The jury signify their verdict by a show of hands. In 2007 Spain signified its desire to join the Council. signify that… He nodded to signify that he agreed.
  3. 3[intransitive] (usually used in questions or negative sentences) to be important or to matter His presence no longer signified.
  4. Word Origin Middle English: from Old French signifier, from Latin significare ‘indicate, portend’, from signum ‘token’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: signify