mean·​ing·​less | \ ˈmē-niŋ-ləs \

Definition of meaningless

1 : having no meaning especially : lacking any significance
2 : having no assigned function in a language system

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Other Words from meaningless

meaninglessly adverb
meaninglessness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for meaningless


empty, inane, pointless, senseless


meaningful, significant

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Examples of meaningless in a Sentence

He felt that his work was meaningless. The movie was filled with meaningless violence.

Recent Examples on the Web

By the Warren standard, there are few people who couldn’t claim some connection to a historically oppressed group, which could render such questions meaningless. James Freeman, WSJ, "Too Soon for Democrats To Dump Elizabeth Warren?," 7 Dec. 2018 From an investor standpoint, the interconnectedness makes the idea of picking a winner almost meaningless. Erin Griffith, WIRED, "SoftBank Flips the Venture-Capital Script Again With GM Deal," 31 May 2018 But then the courts rendered Trump's deadline meaningless in March, forcing DACA recipients into legal limbo and putting the pressure on Congress to pass a law that protects them from potential deportation. Alex Daugherty, miamiherald, "How a Miami Republican is leading a last-gasp shot at an immigration vote in Congress | Miami Herald," 24 May 2018 Painting has been pronounced dead enough times to render the claim meaningless, if not ludicrous. Leah Ollman,, "Ceramic art, once written off as mere craft, wins a brighter spotlight in the L.A. scene," 25 Apr. 2018 The fully globalized nature of the contemporary economy renders the concept of bilateral trade deficits almost meaningless. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Doubles Down on a Trade War He Can’t Win," 6 Apr. 2018 Living or dead, the gag implies, our pastimes are meaningless either way. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Why zombies are so hilarious," 5 Dec. 2018 Rather than adding some raw authenticity, the marks feel hollow and self-important, the residue of a meaningless performance. Leah Ollman,, "Marvelous or maddening? In Cameron Platter's show, it depends on which way you face," 4 June 2018 Here's why The Cubs, winners of the World Series two seasons ago and considered one of the top teams in the National League, ultimately pulled away late in Wednesday's game, rendering those two plays at home plate somewhat meaningless. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers are where Chicago Cubs were five years ago," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'meaningless.' 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 meaningless

1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near meaningless





mean life

mean line


Statistics for meaningless

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for meaningless

The first known use of meaningless was in 1796

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More Definitions for meaningless



English Language Learners Definition of meaningless

: having no meaning
: having no real importance or value


mean·​ing·​less | \ ˈmē-niŋ-ləs \

Kids Definition of meaningless

: having no meaning or importance

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Comments on meaningless

What made you want to look up meaningless? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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