signal

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bell, book, and candle

1. A method of putting a curse on someone. The phrase refers to the implements once used when someone was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church. I'll go after him bell, book, and candle if he threatens my family again.
2. Items that are symbolic or indicative of the strange or miraculous. She's the type of person who will come over with bell, book, and candle to try to bring about positive changes in your life.
See also: and, candle

get (a) mixed signal(s)

To receive a signal, message, or communication that has, or seems to have, multiple, ambiguous, or contradictory meanings. I keep getting these mixed signals from my ex-girlfriend. I can't tell if she just wants to be friends, or if she's interested in getting back together. I've just been getting a mixed signal from my boss lately about what he thinks of my performance so far.
See also: get, mixed

get (one's) signals crossed

To have a misunderstanding or miscommunication with someone else. I'm sorry I'm late, I thought we were getting here at 8—we must have gotten our signals crossed. My mom and I got our signals crossed, and now there's no one here to babysit the kids.
See also: crosse, get, signal

mixed signal

A signal, message, or communication that has, or is interpreted as having, multiple, ambiguous, or contradictory meanings. (Often plural.) I keep getting these mixed signals from my ex-girlfriend. I can't tell if she just wants to be friends, or if she's interested in getting back together. I just think it sends something of a mixed signal to be advertising a new production assistant position right after we went through a round of layoffs.
See also: mixed, signal

send (a) mixed signal(s)

To communicate something that has, or seems to have, multiple, ambiguous, or contradictory meanings. My ex-girlfriend has accused me of sending mixed signals about our relationship, as if I'm hinting I want to get back together with her. I just think it sends something of a mixed signal to be advertising a new production assistant position right after we went through a round of layoffs.
See also: mixed, send

send a signal

To emphasize or make a clear statement of one's position. We need to send a signal to these hostile nations that we will not compromise our values for fear of reprisal. The latest memo clearly sends a signal to certain people in the company that their days are numbered. The quilts are intended to send a signal of hope to the survivors of this tragedy.
See also: send, signal

signal boost

1. verb To share particular information online in order to raise awareness of it or expose it to a larger audience. Hey, will you signal boost our charity event this weekend? If you retweet those trolls, you're just signal boosting them, and that's exactly what they want.
2. noun An increase in the awareness or exposure of particular information online, typically achieved through the sharing of it by someone with a large following. Hey, if you could share our charity event, you could really give it a signal boost. Don't retweet those trolls—you're just going to give them the signal boost they're looking for.
See also: boost, signal

signal for (someone or something)

1. To use some kind of indicator, especially a hand gesture, to signify that one wants or needs someone to come over to one. I signaled for Tom to come help us with the machine. Will you signal for the flight attendant? I think there's something wrong with the seat.
2. To use some kind of indicator to signify something that should or needs to be done. We built a massive bonfire on the beach of the deserted island to signal for help from any ships that might pass by. Janet signaled for another round of drinks to be brought to our table.
See also: signal

smoke signals

Indications that something is the case or is likely to happen. If the smoke signals are to be believed, a peace agreement could be signed by the end of the week. We're just awaiting smoke signals from the board of directors before we move on the expansion.
See also: signal, smoke

virtue signaling

Publicly sharing or stating something, especially on social media or in a political context, that is intended to indicate and/or emphasize one's values or moral convictions. The term is often used in a derogatory way to criticize doing so as superficial or as intended to garner praise or admiration. I hope I'm wrong, but her anger about this issue strikes me as virtue signaling.
See also: signal, virtue

bell, book, and candle things that are miraculous or that signal that something

unusual or bizarre may soon happen. (Alluding originally to the items used when performing the rite of excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.) Look, I can't work miracles! Do you expect me to show up at your house with bell, book, and candle, and make everything right? You have to take charge of your own destiny! On the top shelf of the tiny used-book store, Jim saw a bell, book, and candle sitting in a row, and he knew he was going to find some very interesting reading material.

signal for someone

to make a sign for someone to come. I signaled for the waiter and got the check. Ted signaled for the parking lot attendant.
See also: signal

signal for something

to make a sign that something should be done. I caught the waiter's eye and signaled for the check. The director signaled for applause.
See also: signal

signal (to) someone (to do something)

[for someone] to give someone a command or instruction using a signal. The traffic cop signaled me to stop. The state trooper signaled the driver to pull over to the side of the road.

smoke signals

Smoke signals are signs or suggestions that something might be happening or going to happen. The smoke signals coming out of the White House suggest that the President will sign the treaty. Recent economic smoke signals would indicate that the economy began to pick up in May. Note: Smoke signals are columns of smoke which were used to send messages over long distances, for example by Native American tribes.
See also: signal, smoke

bell, book, and candle

a formula for laying a curse on someone.
This expression alludes to the closing words of the rite of excommunication, ‘Do to the book, quench the candle, ring the bell’, meaning that the service book is closed, the candle put out, and the passing bell rung, as a sign of spiritual death.
See also: and, candle