Autograph vs Signature what difference

what is difference between Autograph and Signature



From Latin autographum, in turn from Ancient Greek αὐτόγραφον (autógraphon, a writing in one’s own hand). Equivalent to auto- +‎ -graph.


autograph (plural autographs)

  1. A person’s own handwriting, especially the signature of a famous or admired person.
  2. A manuscript in the author’s handwriting.


  • (person’s own handwriting or signature): signature, inscription
  • (manuscript in author’s hand): protograph, holograph, archetype, original



autograph (not comparable)

  1. Written in the author’s own handwriting.
  2. (art) Made by the artist himself or herself; authentic.
    • 1979, Nancy L Pressly, The Fuseli Circle in Rome, Yale Center for British Art, p. 37:
      Schiff [] believes most of the drawings are autograph.
    • 1992, Malise Forbes Adam & Mary Mauchline, in Wendy Wassyng Roworth (ed.), Angelica Kauffman, Reaktion Books 1992, p. 116:
      Not surprisingly, he attributed to Kauffman two important works that are no longer accepted as autograph.



autograph (third-person singular simple present autographs, present participle autographing, simple past and past participle autographed)

  1. (transitive) To sign, or write one’s name or signature on a book etc
  2. (transitive) To write something in one’s own handwriting




Borrowed from Middle French signature, or from Medieval Latin signatura, future active periphrastic of verb signare (to sign) from signum (sign), + -tura, feminine of -turus, future active periphrastic suffix.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsɪɡnətʃə(r)/, /ˈsɪɡnɪtʃə(r)/
  • (US) enPR: sĭg′nəchər, sĭg′nĭchər, IPA(key): /ˈsɪɡnətʃɚ/, /ˈsɪɡnɪtʃɚ/


signature (plural signatures)

  1. A person’s name, written by that person, used as identification or to signify approval of accompanying material, such as a legal contract.
  2. An act of signing one’s name; an act of producing a signature.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:signature.
  3. (medicine) The part of a doctor’s prescription containing directions for the patient.
  4. (music) Signs on the stave indicating key and tempo, composed of the key signature and the time signature.
  5. (printing) A group of four (or a multiple of four) sheets printed such that, when folded, they become a section of a book.
  6. (computing) A pattern used for matching the identity of a virus, the parameter types of a method, etc.
  7. (cryptography) Data attached to a message that guarantees that the message originated from its claimed source.
  8. (figuratively) A mark or sign of implication.
    • 1975, United States. Office of Noise Abatement and Control, First Report on Status and Progress of Noise Research and Control Programs in the Federal Government (volume 1, page 6-13)
      The TACOM Vehicle Signature Reduction program is concerned with reducing the noise signature detectability of military vehicles in combat.
  9. A dish that is characteristic of a particular chef.
  10. (mathematics) A tuple specifying the sign of coefficients in any diagonal form of a quadratic form.
  11. (medicine, obsolete) A resemblance between the external character of a disease and those of some physical agent, for instance, that existing between the red skin of scarlet fever and a red cloth; supposed to indicate this agent in the treatment of the disease.
  12. (Internet) Text (or images, etc.) appended to a user’s emails, newsgroup posts, forum posts, etc. as a way of adding a personal touch or including contact details.
    Synonyms: sig, siggy


  • biosignature

Derived terms

  • signature-compatible


See also

  • autograph


signature (not generally comparable, comparative more signature, superlative most signature)

  1. Distinctive, characteristic, indicative of identity.
    • 2001, Lawrence J. Vale, Sam Bass Warner, Imaging the city: continuing struggles and new directions,
      Consider Las Fallas of Valencia, Spain, arguably the most signature of signature ephemera.
    • 2005, Paul Duchscherer, Linda Svendsen, Beyond the bungalow: grand homes in the arts & crafts tradition,
      Considered the most signature effect of the Tudor Revival style, half-timbering derived its distinctive [] .
    • 2005, Brett Dawson, Tales from the 2004-05 Fighting Illini,
      But it was perhaps the most signature shot Williams ever made in an Illinois uniform, a bullying basket in which he used his power to pound Stoudamire, [] .
    • 2005, CBS News website, Paul Winchell Dead At Age 82,
      He credited his wife, who is British, for giving him the inspiration for Tigger’s signature phrase: TTFN. TA-TA for now.



  • signature at OneLook Dictionary Search


  • antisurge, gauntries, sautering



signer +‎ -ture; cf. Medieval Latin signatura.


  • IPA(key): /si.ɲa.tyʁ/


signature f (plural signatures)

  1. signature (a person’s name written in their own handwriting)
    désavouer sa signature
  2. the act of signing
    Le décret est à la signature.

Related terms

  • signer
  • signataire

Further reading

  • “signature” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).




  1. vocative masculine singular of signātūrus

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