Definition of signary in English:



  • The signs constituting the syllabic or alphabetic symbols of a language.

    • ‘The frequency distribution can be compared with those of sets of the same signs in other places in order to identify the signary or signs and obtain clues about the language.’
    • ‘The word ‘rune’ comes from the Norse and means not only an alphabetic signary, but also ‘mystery.’’
    • ‘To demonstrate this, McManus divides consideration of the origin of the Ogam alphabet into two areas: its signary and its internal structure.’
    • ‘For this the scribes devised a set of ideograms and phonetic symbols based on a signary of twenty-four characters, with which in theory there was nothing that could not be written.’
    • ‘The same signary was also used in the early historical period to write Greek; by the end of the third century B.C., Greek alphabetic writing had almost completely supplanted the native script.’
    abc, letters
    View synonyms


Early 20th century: from Latin signum ‘mark, token’ + -ary, on the pattern of syllabary.