Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


He had evinced not the least sign of any disposition even to criticise.

It proved to be a sign some twenty feet high and a whole block long.

No sir, not one, and I can find no sign of the Triassic period.

There was no sign of the body of Andrew Lanning among the rocks.

Straight to this sign Andrew walked and sat down at the table beneath it.

The first sign of unwariness would begin and end the battle.

They remembered the rifle of Andrew and had gone on without making a sign.

Perhaps that is a sign—I daresay it is—that I have not had much of what is not happiness.

He kept close to the bank, looking for some sign of the spot where he had fallen in.

I will sign you a blank cheque, which your uncle can fill up with the amount he has stolen.


early 13c., "gesture or motion of the hand," especially one meant to communicate something, from Old French signe "sign, mark," from Latin signum "identifying mark, token, indication, symbol; proof; military standard, ensign; a signal, an omen; sign in the heavens, constellation," according to Watkins, literally "standard that one follows," from PIE *sekw-no-, from root *sekw- (1) "to follow" (see sequel).

Ousted native token. Meaning "a mark or device having some special importance" is recorded from late 13c.; that of "a miracle" is from c.1300. Zodiacal sense in English is from mid-14c. Sense of "characteristic device attached to the front of an inn, shop, etc., to distinguish it from others" is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning "token or signal of some condition" (late 13c.) is behind sign of the times (1520s). In some uses, the word probably is a shortening of ensign. Sign language is recorded from 1847; earlier hand-language (1670s).


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.