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noun mean·ing \ˈmē-niŋ\

Simple Definition of meaning

  • : the idea that is represented by a word, phrase, etc.

  • : the idea that a person wants to express by using words, signs, etc.

  • : the idea that is expressed in a work of writing, art, etc.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of meaning

  1. 1 a :  the thing one intends to convey especially by language :  purport b :  the thing that is conveyed especially by language :  import

  2. 2 :  something meant or intended :  aim <a mischievous meaning was apparent>

  3. 3 :  significant quality; especially :  implication of a hidden or special significance <a glance full of meaning>

  4. 4 a :  the logical connotation of a word or phrase b :  the logical denotation or extension of a word or phrase

meaning adjective
meaningly play \-niŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of meaning in a sentence

  1. What is the precise meaning of this word in English?

  2. an old word that has taken on a new meaning

  3. The word has both literal meanings and figurative meanings.

  4. a word with various shades of meaning

  5. Don't distort her meaning by taking her words out of context.

  6. I didn't understand the meaning of his remark.

  7. Literary critics disagree about the meanings of his poems.

  8. a poem with subtle shades of meaning

  9. What is the meaning of life?

  10. It's a story about the true meaning of Christmas.

14th Century

First Known Use of meaning

14th century

Rhymes with meaning

MEANING Defined for Kids


noun mean·ing \ˈmē-niŋ\

Definition of meaning for Students

  1. 1 :  the idea that is represented by a word, phrase, or statement

  2. 2 :  the idea a person intends to express by something said or done <What is the meaning of this behavior?>

  3. 3 :  the reason or explanation for something <… Father Wolf taught him … the meaning of things in the jungle … — Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book>

  4. 4 :  the quality of communicating something or of being important <He gave me a look full of meaning.>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up meaning? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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