We're working on a new site. Click here to get a sneak preview.


noun mean·ing \ˈmē-niŋ\

: 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.

Full Definition of MEANING

a :  the thing one intends to convey especially by language :  purport
b :  the thing that is conveyed especially by language :  import
:  something meant or intended :  aim <a mischievous meaning was apparent>
:  significant quality; especially :  implication of a hidden or special significance <a glance full of meaning>
a :  the logical connotation of a word or phrase
b :  the logical denotation or extension of a word or phrase
meaning adjective
mean·ing·ly \-niŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of MEANING

  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.

First Known Use of MEANING

14th century

Rhymes with MEANING

MEANINGLY Defined for Kids


noun mean·ing \ˈmē-niŋ\

Definition of MEANING for Kids

:  the idea that is represented by a word, phrase, or statement
:  the idea a person intends to express by something said or done <What is the meaning of this behavior?>
:  the reason or explanation for something <… Father Wolf taught him … the meaning of things in the jungle … — Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book>
:  the quality of communicating something or of being important <He gave me a look full of meaning.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: meaningfulPrevious Word in the Dictionary: meanieAll Words Near: meaning
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears