meaning

play
noun mean·ing \ˈmē-niŋ\

Definition of meaning

  1. 1a :  the thing one intends to convey especially by language :  purport Do not mistake my meaning.b :  the thing that is conveyed especially by language :  import Many words have more than one meaning.

  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. 4a :  the logical connotation of a word or phraseb :  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



MEANING Defined for English Language Learners

meaning

play
noun mean·ing \ˈmē-niŋ\

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

meaning

play
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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

not embarrassed or apologetic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • winning-words-from-the-national-spelling-bee-logo
  • Which is the correct spelling of the winning word from 1988?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!