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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Signify


SIG'NIFY, verb transitive [Latin significo; signum, a sign, and facio, to make.]

1. To make known something, either by signs or words; to express or communicate to another any idea, thought, wish, a hod, wink, gesture, signal or other sign. A man signifies his mind by his voice or by written characters; he may signify his mind by a nod or other motion, provided the person to whom he directs it, understands what is intend by it. A general or an admiral signifies his commands by signals to officers as a distance.

2. To mean; to have or contain a certain sense. The word sabbath signifies rest. Less, in composition, as in faithless, signifies destitution or want. The prefix re, in recommend, seldom signifies any thing.

3. To import; to weigh; to have consequence; used in particular phrases; as, it signifies much or little; it signifies nothing. What does it signify? What signify the splendors of a court? Confession of sin without reformation of life, can signify nothing in the view of God.

4. To make known; to declare. The government should signify to the protestants of Ireland that want of silver is not to be remedied.

SIG'NIFY, verb intransitive To express meaning with force. [Little used.]