An interprocess communication signal that indicates the status of a shared system resource, such as shared memory, in a multitasking operating system. There are several types of semaphores:
   • Event
   Allows a thread to tell other threads that an event has occurred and that it is safe for them to resume execution.
   • Mutual exclusion (mutex)
   Protects system resources, such as files, data, and peripheral devices, from simultaneous access by several processes.
   • Multiple wait (muxwait)
   Allows threads to wait for multiple events to take place or for multiple resources to become free.

Dictionary of networking . 2014.

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  • Semaphore — Sem a*phore, n. [Gr. sh^ma a sign + fe rein to bear: cf. F. s[ e]maphore.] A signal telegraph; an apparatus for giving signals by the disposition of lanterns, flags, oscillating arms, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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