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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sign \Sign\, n. [F. signe, L. signum; cf. AS. segen, segn, a sign, standard, banner, also fr. L. signum. Cf. Ensign, Resign, Seal a stamp, Signal, Signet.] That by which anything is made known or represented; that which furnishes evidence; a mark; a token; an indication; a proof. Specifically:

  1. A remarkable event, considered by the ancients as indicating the will of some deity; a prodigy; an omen.

  2. An event considered by the Jews as indicating the divine will, or as manifesting an interposition of the divine power for some special end; a miracle; a wonder.

    Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God.
    --Rom. xv. 19.

    It shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.
    --Ex. iv. 8.

  3. Something serving to indicate the existence, or preserve the memory, of a thing; a token; a memorial; a monument.

    What time the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men, and they became a sign.
    --Num. xxvi. 10.

  4. Any symbol or emblem which prefigures, typifles, or represents, an idea; a type; hence, sometimes, a picture.

    The holy symbols, or signs, are not barely significative; but what they represent is as certainly delivered to us as the symbols themselves.

    Saint George of Merry England, the sign of victory.

  5. A word or a character regarded as the outward manifestation of thought; as, words are the sign of ideas.

  6. A motion, an action, or a gesture by which a thought is expressed, or a command or a wish made known.

    They made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
    --Luke i. 62.

  7. Hence, one of the gestures of pantomime, or of a language of a signs such as those used by the North American Indians, or those used by the deaf and dumb.

    Note: Educaters of the deaf distinguish between natural signs, which serve for communicating ideas, and methodical, or systematic, signs, adapted for the dictation, or the rendering, of written language, word by word; and thus the signs are to be distinguished from the manual alphabet, by which words are spelled on the fingers.

  8. A military emblem carried on a banner or a standard.

  9. A lettered board, or other conspicuous notice, placed upon or before a building, room, shop, or office to advertise the business there transacted, or the name of the person or firm carrying it on; a publicly displayed token or notice.

    The shops were, therefore, distinguished by painted signs, which gave a gay and grotesque aspect to the streets.

  10. (Astron.) The twelfth part of the ecliptic or zodiac.

    Note: The signs are reckoned from the point of intersection of the ecliptic and equator at the vernal equinox, and are named, respectively, Aries ([Aries]), Taurus ([Taurus]), Gemini (II), Cancer ([Cancer]), Leo ([Leo]), Virgo ([Virgo]), Libra ([Libra]), Scorpio ([Scorpio]), Sagittarius ([Sagittarius]), Capricornus ([Capricorn]), {Aquarius ([Aquarius]), Pisces ([Pisces]). These names were originally the names of the constellations occupying severally the divisions of the zodiac, by which they are still retained; but, in consequence of the procession of the equinoxes, the signs have, in process of time, become separated about 30 degrees from these constellations, and each of the latter now lies in the sign next in advance, or to the east of the one which bears its name, as the constellation Aries in the sign Taurus, etc.

  11. (Alg.) A character indicating the relation of quantities, or an operation performed upon them; as, the sign + (plus); the sign -- (minus); the sign of division /, and the like.

  12. (Med.) An objective evidence of disease; that is, one appreciable by some one other than the patient.

    Note: The terms symptom and and sign are often used synonymously; but they may be discriminated. A sign differs from a symptom in that the latter is perceived only by the patient himself. The term sign is often further restricted to the purely local evidences of disease afforded by direct examination of the organs involved, as distinguished from those evidence of general disturbance afforded by observation of the temperature, pulse, etc. In this sense it is often called physical sign.

  13. (Mus.) Any character, as a flat, sharp, dot, etc.

  14. (Theol.) That which, being external, stands for, or signifies, something internal or spiritual; -- a term used in the Church of England in speaking of an ordinance considered with reference to that which it represents. An outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. --Bk. of Common Prayer. Note: See the Table of Arbitrary Signs, p. 1924. Sign manual.

    1. (Eng. Law) The royal signature superscribed at the top of bills of grants and letter patent, which are then sealed with the privy signet or great seal, as the case may be, to complete their validity.

    2. The signature of one's name in one's own handwriting.
      --Craig. Tomlins. Wharton.

      Syn: Token; mark; note; symptom; indication; signal; symbol; type; omen; prognostic; presage; manifestation. See Emblem.


Libra \Li"bra\ (l[imac]"br[.a]), n.; pl. Libr[ae] (l[imac]"br[=e]). [L., a balance.] (Astron.) (a) The Balance; the seventh sign in the zodiac, which the sun enters at the autumnal equinox in September, marked thus [libra] in almanacs, etc. (b ) A southern constellation between Virgo and Scorpio.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

zodiac constellation, late Old English, from Latin libra, literally "pound, balance," from Mediterranean base *lithra- "a scale." Nativized in Old Norse as skala-merki.


n. 1 A Roman unit of weight equal to about 327 grams. 2 Any of various units of weight in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries approximately equal to 460 grams or a little more than a US or UK pound. 3 (alternative spelling of libbra nodot=1 English), an Italian unit of weight.

Libra (constellation)

Libra is a constellation of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for weighing scales, and its symbol is ( Unicode ♎). It is fairly faint, with no first magnitude stars, and lies between Virgo to the west and Scorpius to the east. Beta Librae, also known as Zubeneschamali, is the brightest star in the constellation. Three star systems have planets.

Libra (novel)

Libra (1988) is a novel written by Don DeLillo. It focuses on the life of Lee Harvey Oswald and offers a speculative account of the events that shaped the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The book takes the reader from Oswald's early days as a child, to his adolescent stint in the US Marine Corps, through his brief defection to the USSR and subsequent marriage to a Russian girl, and finally his return to the US and his role in the assassination of Kennedy.

In DeLillo's version of events, the assassination attempt on Kennedy is in fact intended to fail; the plot is instigated by disgruntled former CIA operatives who see it as the only way to guide the government to war on Cuba.

Oswald is portrayed as an odd outcast of a man, whose overtly communist political views cause him difficulties fitting into American society. He is not portrayed sympathetically, nor is he castigated; he is treated fairly in the novel, yet is not a character easy to attach to. He loves his wife, yet beats her; he dotes on his children yet he mistreats his mother. He is not shown to be a madman with absurd ideologies, but well-read and intelligent. However, the book also indicates that he is dyslexic and has great difficulty both in writing letters and reading books (he is described reading the works of Karl Marx slowly). He could be described as a pawn easily manipulated by others. But there is also continually a tendency to use this dyslexia as a wider theme in the issue of 'reading' situations, and more widely still the human difficulty in understanding themselves and the human situation.

Other characters are touched upon in the book, such as Win Everett, Lawrence Parmenter and Guy Banister, who are presented as the chief conspirators of the assassination plot. A parallel story follows Nicholas Branch, a CIA archivist of more recent times assigned the monumental task of piecing together the disparate fragments of Kennedy's death. Branch concludes that the effort will be never-ending and the whole truth ultimately unknowable. Branch is an example of the reader appearing in the novel itself, one of the postmodern phenomena that marks DeLillo's work. He is also a contribution to the book's theme of the struggle to make sense of life and his conclusion may be taken to some extent to be DeLillo's own. There are patterns, but what is a significant pattern (intention, motivation, human or divine creation) and what is coincidence (an idée fixe of one of the book's characters) is impossible to tell. The title of the book comes from Oswald's astrological sign, and as a picture of a scale, symbolizes for Nicholas Branch the outside forces of history literally weighing in on Oswald's fate as well as the fate of the entire assassination plot.

The novel blends historical fact with fictional supposition. Real-life characters intermingle with DeLillo's own creations. In an author's note at the close of the book, DeLillo writes that he has "made no attempt to furnish factual answers to any questions raised by the assassination."

James Ellroy has mentioned Libra as an inspiration for his novel American Tabloid, another take on the causes of the assassination.

DeLillo work on Libra earned him the first International Fiction Prize sponsored by The Irish Times.

Libra (Toni Braxton album)

Libra is the sixth studio album by American singer Toni Braxton. It was released on September 27, 2005 by Blackground Records. The album's title is a reference to Braxton's astrological sign, Libra.

The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 and at number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, selling 114,000 copies in its first week. Only three singles were released from the album, and due to lack of promotion from Blackground Records, Braxton's then-record label, all of them failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, subsequently causing Braxton to terminate her contract with the label. Nonetheless, as a result of the European success of " The Time of Our Lives"—Braxton's collaboration with the group Il Divo, which served as the official 2006 FIFA World Cup theme song—, German label Edel Records re-released the album in continental Europe in late June 2006 including "The Time of Our Lives" as well as a brand-new cover art. Previously, the regular European edition of the album had included three bonus tracks: " Suddenly", "I Hate You", and "Long Way Home". The song "Stupid", which is track 8 of the album, has briefly appeared in the 2005 Tyler Perry film Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

Libra gained gold status by the Recording Industry Association of America on November 4, 2005, having sold over 441,000 copies within the U.S. to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The album cover was included on Maxims list of Sexiest Album Covers.


Libra may refer to:

Libra (Marvel Comics)
For the DC Comics version, see Libra.

Libra is the name of different fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Libra (DC Comics)

Libra is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Justice League of America #111 (May-June 1974), where he formed the first incarnation of the Injustice Gang (though there had been other villain groups with similar names, like the Injustice Society and the Injustice League). Libra made his return with a leading role in Final Crisis in 2008.

Libra (astrology)

Libra () is the seventh astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans the 180–210th degree of the zodiac, between 180 and 207.25 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, Sun transits this area on average between (northern autumnal equinox) September 23 and October 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Libra from approximately October 16 to November 17. The symbol of the scales is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom. She became the inspiration for modern depictions of Lady Justice. The ruling planet of Libra is Venus. Libra is the only constellation in the sky represented by an inanimate object. The other eleven signs are represented either as an animal or mythological characters throughout history.

Libra is one of the three zodiac air signs, the others being Gemini and Aquarius. The sign of Libra is symbolized by the gryphon, a mythological creature with the head, wings and talons of an eagle and hind legs of a lion. According to the Romans in the First Century, Libra was a constellation they idolized. The moon was said to be in Libra when Rome was founded. Everything was balanced under this righteous sign. The Roman writer Mahilius once said that Libra was the sign "in which the seasons are balanced". Both the hours of the day and the hours of the night match each other. Thus why the Romans put so much trust in the "balanced sign". Going back to ancient Greek times, Libra the constellation between Virgo and Scorpio used to be over ruled by the constellation of Scorpio. They called the area the Latin word "chelae", which translated to "the claws" which can help identify the individual stars that make up the full constellation of Libra, since it was so closely identified with the Scorpion constellation in the sky.

According to the Tropical system of astrology, the Sun enters the sign of Libra when it reaches the southern vernal equinox, which occurs around September 22.

Libra (comics)

Libra, in comics, may refer to:

  • Marvel Comics characters associated with Zodiac:
    • Libra (Marvel Comics), Gustav Brandt, the character most commonly associated with the name
    • Libra, a male Life Model Decoy who later took on a female form
    • Libra, a member of the Zodiac run by Ecliptic
  • Libra (DC Comics), a DC Comics villain who is one of the leading characters in Final Crisis
Libra (software)
For the programming competition run by Google, see Google Code Jam.

Libra is a defunct media cataloguing application for Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, and 7. It was developed by CodeJam. The software allowed users to manage their collections of books, VHS tapes, DVDs, audio cassettes, Compact Discs and video games via automatic information retrieval and collection from The program was free for noncommercial use.

On April 3, 2009, Libra's website became a GoDaddy 404 Error page and all mention of the software had been removed from CodeJam's website. Version 0.9.2 of Libra can still be downloaded from and other third party sites. Due to changes in Amazon's architecture, the program can no longer download information from the website, and instead users must add items manually.

Libra (skipper)

Libra is a genus of skippers in the family Hesperiidae.

Libra (Julio Iglesias album)

Libra is a Julio Iglesias album released in 1985. The album was his first to reach number-one on the Latin Pop Album charts.

Libra (Chinese astronomy)

According to traditional Chinese uranography, the modern constellation Libra is located within the eastern quadrant of the sky, which is symbolized as the Azure Dragon of the East (東方青龍, Dōng Fāng Qīng Lóng).

The name of the western constellation in modern Chinese is 天秤座 (tiān chèng zuò), meaning "the celestial steelyard constellation".

Libra (Gary Bartz album)

Libra is the debut album by saxophonist Gary Bartz' Quintet recorded in 1967 and released on the Milestone label.

Usage examples of "libra".

Actually the money was in bills, Imperial credits as well as Aenean libras, most of it given him in a wad by Sergeant Astaff before he left Windhome.

With the Persians, the first six Genii, created by Ormuzd, presided over the first six signs, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and Virgo: and the six evil Genii, or Devs, created by Ahriman, over the six others, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, and Pisces.

Thence, through Leo, Virgo, and Libra, he entered SCORPIO at the Autumnal Equinox, and journeyed Southward through Scorpia, Sagittarius, and Capricornus to AQUARIUS, the terminus of his journey South.

So, referring again to the time when the Sun entered the Autumnal Equinox, there are nine remarkable Stars that come to the meridian nearly at the same time, rising as Libra sets, and so seeming to chase that Constellation.

As the Serpent extends over both signs, Libra and Scorpio, it has been the gate through which souls descend, during the whole time that those two signs in succession marked the Autumnal Equinox.

We had both been born under the sign of Libra, so if one believes in astrology, as Narayan, who once supplied me with my horoscope, certainly does, we were destined by the stars to know each other.

All foreign countries have confusing money, with names like the Pound, the Yen, the Libra, the Mark, the Frank, the Duane, the Doubloon, and the Kilometer, all of which appear to have been designed by preschool children.

He called it Il Saggiatore, or The Assayer—thus replacing the crude scale of the Libra with the more delicate balance assayers used to analyze the quantity of pure gold in gold ore.

After that, from June 1 to June 24, and from September 25 to October 16, Saturn in Capricorn, Jupiter in Aquarius, Mars in Scorpio, Venus in Pisces, Mercury for a month in Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces, the Moon in Aquarius, the Dragon's head in Libra: its tail in opposition following a conjunction of Jupiter and Mercury with a quadrature of Mars and Mercury, and the Dragon's head coinciding with a conjunction of the Sun and Jupiter.

They are named respectively Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces.

Ringed around the ecliptic, in a starry belt that extends approximately 7° north and south, are the twelve constellations of the zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius and Pisces.

Aquarius and Aries are therefore counterchanged, revolving on the pivot of Pisces, just as, in the Trumps VIII and XI, Leo and Libra do about Virgo.

Dupuis, who, in his learned memoirs concerning the Origin of the Constellations and Origin of all Worship, has assigned many plausible reasons to prove that Libra was formerly the sign of the vernal, and Aries of the autumnal equinox.

The cardinal signs - Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn - are so-called because when the Sun moved into these signs, it marked the beginning of a new season - spring, summer, autumn and winter.

The constellations of Virgo and Libra were also dropping lower in the sky and, much farther to the north, I could see the Great and Little Bears slowly pacing out their eternal cycle around the celestial pole.