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 meaningful (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 According to Fuligni, the most successful volunteer programs give adolescents a say in what to work on and a chance to reflect on the work, and the projects also feel meaningful. Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, "Adolescent Brains Are Wired to Want Status and Respect: That’s an Opportunity for Teachers and Parents," 28 Apr. 2021 More worrisome, though, are the other matters that must be diverting attention from the key issues of keeping the virus under control and ensuring that progress with the vaccination translates into a meaningful economic recovery. Roger Trapp, Forbes, "U.K.’s Johnson Is Busy Fighting Fires While Biden Steers A Steady Course," 28 Apr. 2021 Here are some of the most meaningful parts of the exhibit. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are 5 reasons the Nelson Mandela exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum is so meaningful," 28 Apr. 2021 Of course the pandemic has only underscored people’s appreciation for the talismanic properties of fine jewelry, with sales of meaningful jewels laden with symbolism rising as a result. Victoria Gomelsky, Robb Report, "People Are Getting Back Into Astrology—and Jewelers Are, Too," 28 Apr. 2021 The president snubbed drug pricing policy in his sweeping proposal to reform the social safety net — a move that leaves it out of one of the few policy packages that has a meaningful chance of clearing Congress this year. Rachel Cohrs, STAT, "Biden is set to ask for drug pricing reform this year. But it’s an empty call," 28 Apr. 2021 In the meantime, local officials have been struggling to produce a coordinated, meaningful plan approved by both the Mobile planning authorities and their Eastern Shore counterparts. al, "Proposed I-10 truck bridge could compromise safety," 27 Apr. 2021 After all, the United States hasn’t created meaningful privacy laws in decades. Washington Post, "Your tech devices want to read your brain. What could go wrong?," 27 Apr. 2021 In 2013, Herzing and her team at the Wild Dolphin Project used a machine-learning algorithm called Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry (CHAT), designed to identify meaningful signals in dolphin whistles. Philip Ball, The New Yorker, "The Challenges of Animal Translation," 27 Apr. 2021

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

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Meaningful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for meaningful



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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