mean·​ing·​ful | \ ˈmē-niŋ-fəl How to pronounce meaningful (audio) \

Definition of meaningful

1a : having a meaning or purpose The tests did not produce any meaningful results.
b : full of meaning : significant a meaningful life a meaningful relationship
2 : having an assigned function in a language system meaningful propositions

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Other Words from meaningful

meaningfully \ ˈmē-​niŋ-​fə-​lē How to pronounce meaningfully (audio) \ adverb
meaningfulness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for meaningful



  • unexpressive
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Examples of meaningful in a Sentence

The test did not produce any meaningful results. She looked at him in a meaningful way. He wanted to feel that his job was meaningful. The trip turned out to be very meaningful for both of them.
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Recent Examples on the Web What if those workers, in some meaningful sense, actually owned and ran GE to begin with? Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Workers Deserve to Be Owners, Too," 20 May 2020 Despite receiving backlash from the right, Obama’s charge to the graduates to create meaningful change did ring positive to most. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "Karl Rove Whitesplains What Barack Obama Should Have Told HBCU Graduates," 19 May 2020 Sherman always teems with unvarnished honesty, but this truly becomes must-see TV if RB Marshawn Lynch opts to opine in any meaningful manner. 2. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "Nine NFL teams throughout history that deserve 'The Last Dance' treatment," 18 May 2020 Then, the next caregivers have meaningful contemporaneous records to work from. Dinesh Palipana, Ars Technica, "I’m a doctor with quadriplegia—thanks to tech, I’m back at work," 18 May 2020 President Trump’s pursuit of anti-science policy has been so effective that as the first cases of Covid-19 were breaking out in Wuhan, China, no meaningful science policy infrastructure was in place to advise him. Jason Karlawish, STAT, "A pandemic plan was in place. Trump abandoned it — and science — in the face of Covid-19," 17 May 2020 Because for political practitioners, swing voters versus turnout voters is not a really meaningful distinction in a modern Presidential campaign. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "An A.F.L.-C.I.O. Adviser Considers the Future of American Workers," 15 May 2020 For years, scientific attempts to find a meaningful relationship between brain cancer and cellular radiation have failed. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "Something in the Air," 14 May 2020 Though initially built to anticipate demand for resources, especially at hospitals, pandemic models have been embraced more broadly by policymakers forced to make decisions with little meaningful precedent for guidance. Washington Post, "The limits of smartphone data are on display as the country seeks to reopen," 14 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'meaningful.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of meaningful

1852, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for meaningful

Time Traveler

The first known use of meaningful was in 1852

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Statistics for meaningful

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Meaningful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce meaningful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of meaningful

: having a clear meaning
: expressing an emotion or idea without words
: having real importance or value


mean·​ing·​ful | \ ˈmē-niŋ-fəl How to pronounce meaningful (audio) \

Kids Definition of meaningful

: having a meaning or purpose

Other Words from meaningful

meaningfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

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Comments on meaningful

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