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Narrower Term: 

n. ~ 1. A name, initials, or other distinctive mark made by an individual. - 2. Printing · An identifying mark on the first page of a section of a book. - 3. Printing · Sets of printed pages that, when folded, make up a section of a book.


A signature1 is often used to indicate a signatory's agreement to the terms of a document. As such, a signature may indicate that a record is complete. - Technically, a signature2, is just the identifying mark on the section, but the term has come to mean the section itself.

(CTG 1997, p. 1) Historically, the legal concept of signature1 is very broad and can be defined as any mark that is made with the intention of authenticating a marked document or record. Signatures serve to give evidence or authenticate a record by identifying the signer with the signed record. In some contexts, a signature records the signer's approval or authorization of the signed record and the signer's intention to give it legal effect. A signature also has some ceremonial significance, and can impart a sense of clarity and finality to a record or transaction. For purposes of evidence, a signature must provide for 1) signer authentication i.e., the signature must indicate who signed a record and should be difficult for another person to (re)produce without authorization, and 2) record authentication.