Definition of meaning
2 : something meant or intended : aim a mischievous meaning was apparent
3 : significant quality; especially : implication of a hidden or special significance a glance full of meaning
meaninglyplay \-niŋ-lē\ adverb
Examples of meaning in a Sentence
What is the precise meaning of this word in English?
an old word that has taken on a new meaning
The word has both literal meanings and figurative meanings.
a word with various shades of meaning
Don't distort her meaning by taking her words out of context.
I didn't understand the meaning of his remark.
Literary critics disagree about the meanings of his poems.
a poem with subtle shades of meaning
What is the meaning of life?
It's a story about the true meaning of Christmas.
Recent Examples of meaning from the Web
Indeed, looking back, McCain's tangled questioning last month of former FBI director James B. Comey … seems to hold more potent meaning.
The mother of the bride doesn’t know that the wedding is all a big joke and a charade and a futile attempt to wring meaning from banality.
Soon enough, Korben, whose shoot-first approach grows less useful as things progress, comes to see that there’s a greater beauty and meaning in the world.
But the term’s meaning was (and remains) opaque and has never been fully explicated.
The choreographer George Balanchine was opaque about the meanings buried in his ballets.
A blockade is a military measure which has a specific meaning under international humanitarian law.
Among Oceanside police, for decades the expression has had a far less dramatic meaning: The officer merely has ordered a suspect to the ground at gunpoint.
To complicate things even further, sometimes the original looks have religious and cultural significance, and that sacred meaning is often completely dismissed by appropriators.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'meaning.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of meaning
MEANING Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of meaning for English Language Learners
: 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.
MEANING Defined for Kids
Definition of meaning for Students
1 : the idea that is represented by a word, phrase, or statement
2 : the idea a person intends to express by something said or done What is the meaning of this behavior?
3 : the reason or explanation for something … Father Wolf taught him … the meaning of things in the jungle … — Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book
4 : the quality of communicating something or of being important He gave me a look full of meaning.
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