Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A visual signaling apparatus with flags, lights, or mechanically moving arms, as one used on a railroad.
  • noun A visual system for sending information by means of two flags that are held one in each hand, using an alphabetic code based on the position of the signaler's arms.
  • transitive & intransitive verb To send (a message) or to signal by semaphore.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To signal with a semaphore; humorously, wave one's arms and signal like a semaphore.
  • noun A mechanical device for displaying signals by means of which information is conveyed to a distant point.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A signal telegraph; an apparatus for giving signals by the disposition of lanterns, flags, oscillating arms, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any visual signaling system with flags, lights, or mechanically moving arms.
  • noun A visual system for transmitting information by means of two flags that are held one in each hand, using an alphabetic and numeric code based on the position of the signaler’s arms.
  • noun computing A bit, token, fragment of code, or some other mechanism which is used to restrict access to a shared function or device to a single process at a time, or to synchronize and coordinate events in different processes.
  • verb transitive, intransitive To signal using (or as if using) a semaphore.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb send signals by or as if by semaphore
  • verb convey by semaphore, of information
  • noun an apparatus for visual signaling with lights or mechanically moving arms

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Greek sēma, sign + –phore.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowed in 1816 from French sémaphore, coined in French from Ancient Greek σῆμα (sêma, "sign"), and -φωρος (-phoros), from φέρω (férō, "to bear, carry").

Examples

  • Between ships and the land there are used what are called semaphore signals, which are made by means of a mast provided with three arms and a disk placed at the upper part.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 508, September 26, 1885

  • The semaphore is a quicker means of communication than the wig wag; but the wig wag can be used in a prone position under shelter.

    Military Instructors Manual

  • The semaphore is a machine with two arms which may be moved into various positions to make letters.

    Scouting For Girls, Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts

  • The telegraph station at the semaphore was a little, square, stone hut, roofed with slate, perched high on the cliffs.

    The Maids of Paradise

  • And then Edward, who by this point was in danger of complete mental disintegration, descended further, into a form of anti-language that Sugar called "semaphore".

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • Basically a semaphore is a counter (integer) that allows a thread to get into

    Javalobby - The heart of the Java developer community

  • Slide 17: Semaphores • Dijkstra - 1965 • A semaphore is a data structure consisting of a counter and a queue for storing task descriptors • Semaphores can be used to implement guards on the code that accesses shared data structures • Semaphores have only two operations, wait and release (originally called P and V by Dijkstra) • Semaphores can be used to provide both competition and cooperation synchronization Copyright © 2007 Addison-Wesley.

    Recently Uploaded Slideshows

  • The clue is that Apple has four clocks, with the third of the clocks the London time at 3 o'clock, just like Paul McCartney's arms in the "semaphore" cover of Help!

    If the Beatles do come to iTunes... will anyone care?

  • Not via steps that would take me so far off the beaten track that I would be required to send an SOS in semaphore which is my response to being told that I could download my eBook and then transfer it to my iPhone via iTunes, which I hate BTW because it never seems to do anything organically but that's another rant - now I'm in my happy place.

    Poll: What To Read?

  • Not via steps that would take me so far off the beaten track that I would be required to send an SOS in semaphore which is my response to being told that I could download my eBook and then transfer it to my iPhone via iTunes, which I hate BTW because it never seems to do anything organically but that's another rant - now I'm in my happy place.

    Archive 2010-07-01

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