FOOD in sign language

The signed 'food' is one of few easiest signs. Although full-fledged signed languages around the world are abstract and not easy to understand, few ASL basics such as "food" are easy words to learn or recognize.

ASL signs for 'food'

"How do you sign 'food' in American Sign Language?"

Meaning: Any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant flat "O" hand with the fingers and thumb facing the mouth taps on the mouth twice.

The sign for "EAT" is the same as this sign. Whether this sign is a noun or a verb depends on the sentence structure.

Related concepts: COOK, FEED.

Food phrases

Too tired to cook for dinner tonight? Order some fast food from a RESTAURANT.

Meaning: Of, relating to, or specializing in food that can be prepared and served quickly.

Vocabulary: PIZZA, TACO, SPAGHETTI, etc.


Sometimes it indulges to eat some salty junk food once in a while...

Meaning: Food that is high in calories but low in nutritional content.

Like some vocabulary: HAMBURGER, French fries, HOT DOG, etc. Or, some sweets and snacks like a CANDY, COOKIE, ICE CREAM, etc.


Healthy food is the food of life that it deserves a word without the adjective "healthy" in it.

Meaning: natural food that is thought to have health-giving qualities or vital nutrients.

Examples of (the real) food are FRUIT, VEGETABLE, NUT, whole GRAIN, FISH...


Feeling thirsty? See DRINK.

Written ASL

[Note: ASL writing is not an official standard. This sign language writing remains in a state of open space to allow room for experiment, evolution, and improvement.]

ASL writing for FOOD

Written ASL: si5s.

Written ASL for food

Writing system: ASLwrite.

Feeling lucky? Random word

Basic word starters: hello / learn / ASL / sign language / alphabet / love / I love you / please / thank you / welcome...

Search Tips and Pointers

Search/Filter: Enter a keyword in the filter/search box to see a list of available words with the "All" selection. Click on the page number if needed. Click on the blue link to look up the word. For best result, enter a partial word to see variations of the word.

Screenshot of dictionary search with notes
Screenshot of the search dictionary

Alphabetical letters: It's useful for 1) a single-letter word (such as A, B, etc.) and 2) very short words (e.g. "to", "he", etc.) to narrow down the words and pages in the list.

For best result, enter a short word in the search box, then select the alphetical letter (and page number if needed), and click on the blue link.

Screenshot of dictionary search with notes
Screenshot of the search dictionary

Don't forget to click "All" back when you search another word with a different initial letter.

If you cannot find (perhaps overlook) a word but you can still see a list of links, then keep looking until the links disappear! Sharpening your eye or maybe refine your alphabetical index skill. :)

Add a Word: This dictionary is not exhaustive; ASL signs are constantly added to the dictionary. If you don't find a word/sign, you can send your request (only if a single link doesn't show in the result).

Videos: The first video may be NOT the answer you're looking for. There are several signs for different meanings, contexts, and/or variations. Browsing all the way down to the next search box is highly recommended.

Video speed: Signing too fast in the videos? See HELP in the footer.

ASL has its own grammar and structure in sentences that works differently from English. For plurals, verb inflections, word order, etc., learn grammar in the "ASL Learn" section. For search in the dictionary, use the present-time verbs and base words. If you look for "said", look up the word "say". Likewise, if you look for an adjective word, try the noun or vice versa. E.g. The ASL signs for French and France are the same. If you look for a plural word, use a singular word.