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

Over time, different populations of people — i.e., people of European or Asian descent — acquire random genetic variants that are meaningless and have nothing to do with biology. Brian Resnick, Vox, "How scientists are trying to predict your future with your genes," 23 Aug. 2018 In one case, their system showed that a particular sound made by the fault, which scientists previously thought was meaningless, was actually an indication of when an earthquake would arrive. Cade Metz, The Seattle Times, "The next Big One? Earthquake scientists look to AI.," 26 Oct. 2018 Those prayers validate existence and snatch it away from meaningless routine. Sara Benincasa, Longreads, "Great Reviews Of Movies I Have Never Seen: A Reading List," 13 July 2018 The opener to a meaningless, season-ending doubleheader lasted just 51 minutes. Frank Fitzpatrick,, "When and how the Phillies once played nine innings in 51 minutes," 9 July 2018 Tanking Chinese stocks—the Shanghai Composite is now down nearly 25% from its January peak—could therefore be taken as a meaningless signal. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "A Stock Market Crash With Chinese Characteristics," 9 July 2018 Still others have been forced into meaningless jobs like Peter Strozk and others have been forced out like Lisa Page and Michael Kortan. Fox News, "Facebook asks users to send in nude photos," 24 May 2018 Wednesday night, Noh skated with Kim and Park again in a near-meaningless race that captured the attention of the nation. Author: Chelsea Janes, Anchorage Daily News, "They left their slower teammate behind. Now their country’s fans wants them banned.," 21 Feb. 2018 At one point Wednesday, that petition had 400,000 signatures. Wednesday night, Noh skated with Kim and Park again in a near-meaningless race that captured the attention of the nation. Chelsea Janes,, "They left their slower teammate behind. Now their country's fans want them banned.," 21 Feb. 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

7 Dec 2018

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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 enclose within walls

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