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Bible Lexicons

Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #4591 - σημαίνω

Root Word (Etymology)
from sema (a mark, of uncertain derivation)
Parts of Speech
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  1. to give a sign, to signify, indicate
  2. to make known
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 2095 ‑ זְהַר (zeh‑har');  3045 ‑ יָדַע (yaw‑dah');  4448 ‑ מָלַל (maw‑lal');  5046 ‑ נָגַד (naw‑gad');  7321 ‑ רוּעַ (roo‑ah');  8628 ‑ תָּקַע (taw‑kah');  
Frequency Lists
Verse Results
KJV (6)
John 3
Acts 2
Revelation 1
NAS (6)
John 3
Acts 2
Revelation 1
HCS (6)
John 3
Acts 2
Revelation 1
BSB (6)
John 3
Acts 2
Jude 1
ESV (5)
John 2
Acts 2
Revelation 1
WEB (6)
John 3
Acts 2
Revelation 1
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

σημαίνω, Il. 10.58, etc.; σᾱμαίνω, Schwyzer 686.23 ( Pamphylia ): Ion. impf. σημαίνεσκον Q.S. 4.193: fut. σημᾰνῶ A. Ag. 497, Th. 6.20, Ion. -ᾰνέω Od. 12.26, Hdt. 1.75: aor. ἐσήμηνα ib. 43, Th. 5.71, Ep. σήμηνα Il. 23.358; but in codd. of X. ( HG 1.1.2, al.) and later writers ( Str. 13.3.6, Acts 25:27, Polyaen. 1.41.3, Arr. An. 1.6.2 ) ἐσήμᾱνα, and so in Mitteis Chr. 29.8 (ii B.C.): pf. σεσήμαγκα Aristobul. ap. Eus. PE 13.12, Arr. Epict. 3.26.29: Med., fut. σημᾰνοῦμαι, Ion. -έομαι Hp. Prog. 3, etc.: aor. ἐσημηνάμην Il. 7.175, etc.: Pass., fut. σημανθήσομαι S.E. M. 8.267, ( ἐπι- ) E. Ion 1593: fut. Med. in pass. sense, Hp. Int. 44: aor. ἐσημάνθην D. 47.16: pf. σεσήμασμαι Hdt. 2.39, Lys. 32.7, Pl. Lg. 954a, etc.; 3 sg. σεσήμανται Hdt. 2.125, inf. σεσημάνθαι Ar. Lys. 1196: ( σῆμα ): show by a sign, indicate, point out, τέρματα Il. 23.358; δείξω ὁδὸν ἠδὲ ἕκαστα σημανέω Od. 12.26; τοῦτον σημήνας after indicating the person, Hdt. 1.5; τέκμαρ A. Ch. 667; θησαύρισμα S. Ph. 37; ς. τι περί τινος Pl. Lg. 682a; ς. ὅ τι χρὴ ποιεῖν X. Revelation 12:1-17; ς. εὔδια πάντα (sc. εἶναι ) Theoc. 22.22: Med., πάντα σημαίνει you have all things shown you (?), Epigr.Gr. 1039.11 ( Limyra ).

2. abs., give signs, φθόγγος, φῶς ς ., A. Supp. 245, Ag. 293; ὁ λόγος σημαινέτω S. Tr. 345; ς. καπνῷ make signal, A. Ag. 497: freq. in E. in fut. with αὐτός, πλοῦς αὐτὸς σημανεῖ Hel. 151; τὸ δ' ἔργον αὐτὸ σημανεῖ Andr. 265; αὐτὸ σημανεῖ (without Subst. ) Ph. 623; τἄλλα δ' αὐτὸ σημανεῖ Ba. 976 .

3. of the Delphic oracle, οὔτε λέγει οὔτε κρύπτει ἀλλὰ σημαίνει Heraclit. 93; so of omens, X. Mem. 1.1.2, etc.; ς. ἐν τοῖς ἱεροῖς Id. An. 6.1.31; περί τινος Id. Mem. 1.1.19; ἐπὶ τοῖς μέλλουσι γενήσεσθαι Th. 2.8; πρὸ τῶν μελλόντων X. HG 5.4.17: Pass., σημαίνεσθαι διὰ τῶν ἐμπύρων Plu. 2.222f, etc.

4. in later Prose intr., appear, be manifest, Arist. HA 533a11 (but Pass. in same sense, ib. 588b18 ); ς. ἐκ τῶν εἰρημένων Pl. Epin. 989a; cf. δηλόω 11 . σημαίνει impers., signs appear, Arist. Pr. 941b2, 944a4 .

II give a sign or signal to do a thing, or bid one do it, c. dat. pers. et inf., Hdt. 1.116, 6.78, A. Ag. 26, S. Aj. 688, X. An. 6.1.24; give orders to, bear command over, c. dat., πᾶσι δὲ σημαίνειν Il. 1.289, cf. 10.58, 17.250; c. gen., στρατοῦ Il. 14.85; also ς. ἐπὶ δμῳῇσι γυναιξίν Od. 22.427: abs., give orders, ὁ δὲ σημαίνων ἐπέτελλεν Il. 21.445, cf. Od. 22.450: in part., σημαίνων,= σημάντωρ, S. OC 704 codd.

2. in war or battle, give the signal of attack, etc., Th. 2.84, etc.; in full, ς. τῇ σάλπιγγι And. 1.45, X. An. 4.2.1, Achae. 37.3; ς. τῷ κέρατι ὡς ἀναπαύεσθαι X. An. 2.2.4: c. acc., ς. ἀναχώρησιν give a signal for retreat, Th. 5.10; ἐπειδὰν ὁ σαλπιγκτὴς σημήνῃ τὸ πολεμικόν X. An. 4.3.29, cf. 4.3.32; τὸ ἀνακλητικόν Plu. 2.236e: c. inf., X. Cyr. 1.4.18, etc.: impers. σημαίνει (sc. ὁ σαλπιγκτής ), signal is given, as τοῖσι Ἕλλησι ὡς ἐσήμηνε when signal was given for the Greeks to attack, Hdt. 8.11: c. inf., ἐσήμαινε παραρτέεσθαι πάντα signal was given to make all ready, Id. 9.42, cf. E. Heracl. 830; also ς. ἐπὶ πλόον πῦρ gives the signal for sailing, Tryph. 145 .

3. generally, ς. [τῷ ἵππῳ] τι, προχωρεῖν ς. τῷ ἵππῳ, X. Eq. 9.4, 7.10 .

4. make signals, εἰς τὴν πόλιν Id. HG 6.2.33; ς. ὡς πολεμίων ἐπιόντων ib. 7.2.5: Pass., ἐσημάνθησαν προσπλέουσαι ib. 6.2.34: abs., σημανθέντων τῷ Ἀστυάγει ὅτι . . Id. Cyr. 1.4.18 .

III signify, indicate, declare, φόνον E. HF 1218; τινί τι Hdt. 7.18, 9.49, S. OT 226: folld. by ὡς . ., Hdt. 1.34; by ὅτι . ., S. OC 320, Pl. Phd. 62c; ς. ὅστις A. Pr. 618; ς. ὅ τι χρή σοι συμπράσσειν ib. 297 (anap.); ς. ὅπῃ γῆς πεπλάνημαι ib. 564 (anap.); ς. ὅπου . . S. El. 1294; ς. ὅτου τ' εἶ χὠπόθεν Id. Fr. 104; ς. εἴτε . . Id. Ph. 22; ς. ποίῳ θανάτῳ . . Ev.John 12:33, Ev.John 21:19 : c. part., signify that a thing is, φρυκτοῦ φῶς . . σημαίνει μολόν A. Ag. 293; Κρέοντα προσστείχοντα σημαίνουσί μοι S. OT 79, cf. OC 1669; ταῦτα ὡς πολέμου ὄντος σημαίνει Pl. Lg. 626e, cf. 722e: Pass., ὁ σημαινόμενος δοῦλος the abovementioned slave, POxy. 283.12 (i A.D.): abs., σημανθέντος it having been reported, PAmh. 2.31.8 (ii B.C.), cf. supr. 11.4.

2. interpret, explain, Hdt. 1.108; tell, speak, Id. 3.106: abs., σήμαινε tell, S. OC 51, cf. OT 1050; οὐ στηλῶν μόνον ς. ἐπιγραφή Th. 2.43 .

3. of a writer, signify, indicate, ὅτι . . Str. 8.6.5; of words, sentences, etc., signify, mean, ταὐτὸν σημαίνει Pl. Cra. 393a, cf. 437c, Phdr. 275d, Arist. Ph. 213b30, etc.; σημαίνοντα significant sounds, opp. ἄσημα, Id. Po. 1457a32 sq.: Pass., τὸ σημαινόμενον the sense, meaning of words, Id. Rh. 1405b8, D.H. Th. 31, A.D. Pron. 12.27, al.; opp. τὸ σημαῖνον, Chrysipp.Stoic. 2.38 (pl.). Med. σημαίνομαι, give oneself a token, i.e. conclude from signs, conjecture, τὰ μὲν σημαίνομαι, τὰ δ' ἐκπέπληγμαι S. Aj. 32; ἄστροις ς. [τὰς πόλεις ], prov. in Ael. NA 7.48; ς. τι ἔκ τινος ib. 2.7; of dogs hunting, μυξωτῆρσι ς. τι Opp. C. 1.454 .

II provide with a sign or mark, seal, σημαίνεσθαι βύβλῳ (sc. βοῦν ), i.e. by sealing a strip of byblus round his horn, Hdt. 2.38, cf. Pl. Lg. 954c, X. Cyr. 8.2.17, Is. 7.1, 2, Hyp. Ath. 8: Pass., εὖ σεσημάνθαι to be well sealed up, Ar. Lys. 1196; τὰ σεσημασμένα, opp. τὰ ἀσήμαντα, Pl. Lg. 954a, cf. Lys. 32.7, D. 39.17, Ath.Mitt. 7.368.

2. mark out, choose for oneself, τοὺς εὐρωστοτάτους Plb. 3.71.7 .

Thayer's Expanded Definition

σημαίνω; imperfect ἐσήμαινον (Acts 11:28 L WH text); 1 aorist ἐσημανα, for ἐσήμηνα which is the more common form in the earlier and more elegant Greek writings (see Matthiae, § 185; Kühner, § 343, under the word; (Veitch, under the word); Lob. ad Phryn., p. 24f; Winers Grammar, § 15, under the word; Buttmann, 41 (35)); (from σῆμα a sign); from (Homer), Aeschylus, Herodotus down; to give a sign, to signify, indicate: τί, Acts 25:27; followed by indirect discourse, John 12:33; John 18:32; John 21:19; equivalent to to make known: absolutely Revelation 1:1; followed by the accusative with an infinitive Acts 11:28.

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament


(< σῆμα , a sign),

[in LXX for H7321 hi., H8628, etc.;]

to give a sign, signify, indicate: c. acc rei, Acts 25:27, Revelation 1:1 (cf. MM, xxii); c. acc et inf., Acts 11:28; seq. quæst. indir., John 12:33; John 18:32; John 21:19.†

Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Vocabulary of the Greek NT

Although we have no fresh light to throw upon this NT ἅπ. εἰρ. (Acts 17:18), it may be convenient to recall one or two facts in its history. Used originally of birds ";picking up seed,"; it came to be applied in Athenian slang to an adventurer who gains a ";hand-to-mouth"; living in the markets by picking up anything that falls from the loads of merchandise which are being carried about. Hence it passed into the meaning of one gathering scraps of information and retailing them at second-hand without any real knowledge of their meaning. The AV, RV ";babbler,"; which goes back to Tindale, is thus not far from the sense, one who talks idly to no definite purpose : see further Ramsay Paul p. 242 f., and Knowling ad Ac l.c. in EGT, and cf. Norden Agn. Theos p. 333, and E. Meyer Ursprung u. Anfänge iii. p. 91.

Some of the older definitions are recalled by Chase Credibility of Acts, p. 205—Etym. Magnum ὁ εὐτελὴς καὶ εὐκαταφρόνητος ἄνθρωπος καὶ ἴσως ἀπὸ τῶν ἀλλοτρίων διαζῶν : Hesych. φλύαρος : Suidas εὐρύλογος ἀκριτόμυθος : Onom. Vetus λάλος. Amongst modern renderings we may mention—";prater"; (xixth century), ";beggarly babbler"; (Weymouth), ";fellow with scraps of learning"; (Moffatt), ";rag-picker"; (Goodspeed).


The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
List of Word Forms
εσημαινεν ἐσήμαινεν εσήμαναν εσήμανε εσήμανεν ἐσήμανεν σημαίνει σημαίνειν σημαινέτωσαν σημαινούσης σημαινων σημαίνων σημαναι σημάναι σημᾶναι σημάνατε σημανείς σημανείτε σημανή σημάνη σημανώ σημάνωσιν σημασία σημασίαν σημασίας σημασιών esemanen esēmanen esḗmanen semainon semaínon sēmainōn sēmaínōn semanai semânai sēmanai sēmânai
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