Definition of signify in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsiɡnəˌfī/

verb (signifies, signifying, signified)

1 [with object] Be an indication of: this decision signified a fundamental change in their priorities
More example sentences
  • The fact that Evelyn is female doesn't, to me, signify anything more to me than what her gender is.
  • It had the Red Tractor symbol signifying it was produced to farm assured standards in the UK.
  • Although nothing much is known about Tshongolo, the fact that he is Western Cape's middleweight champion and is rated number six in the country, signifies his boxing ability.
be evidence of, be a sign of, mark, signal, mean, spell, be symptomatic of, herald, indicate
literary betoken
1.1Be a symbol of; have as meaning: the church used this image to signify the Holy Trinity
More example sentences
  • It's a West African symbol that signifies the importance of learning from the past.
  • The image of the plough signifies the end of the pioneer era and the end of their adolescence.
  • The stone-built wall at the rooftop patio has the shape of five rays signifying the five elements.
1.2(Of a person) indicate or declare (a feeling or intention): signify your agreement by signing the letter below
More example sentences
  • So far twelve candidates have signified their intention to enter the fray here, but by the close of nominations it is likely there will be at least one more contender aiming to woo the 70,000-plus electorate.
  • They have signified their intentions for next season already, out of swollen eyes and dejected hearts.
  • Noel Higgins on Tuam is in charge of the group but to date he has not signified his intention if he is taking part or not.
express, indicate, show, proclaim, declare
1.3 [no object with negative] Be of importance: the locked door doesn’t necessarily signify
More example sentences
  • CFDs allow investors to own shares at a percentage of the actual cost of ownership, but do not necessarily signify for voting purposes.
  • We know by now that these fateful peculiarities, right after the credits, need not necessarily signify.
mean anything, be of importance, be important, be significant, be of significance, be of account, count, matter, be relevant
2 [no object] US informal (Among black Americans) exchange boasts or insults as a game or ritual.


Middle English: from Old French signifier, from Latin significare 'indicate, portend', from signum 'token'.

Words that rhyme with signify


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sig·ni·fy

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