mean·​ing·​less | \ ˈmē-niŋ-ləs How to pronounce meaningless (audio) \

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

President Xi’s promise to President Obama in 2015 not to militarize the islands had become meaningless. Jim Geraghty, National Review, "Jim Sciutto’s Quiet Indictment of the Obama Administration," 6 June 2019 Many current policy debates would be rendered practically meaningless by divided government, or even by a slim Democratic majority in the upper chamber. The Economist, "Democrats running for president are selling plans to transform America," 6 June 2019 But that was a largely meaningless vote, since Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell could put Kavanaugh’s nomination on the floor at any time, regardless of what the committee does. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Jeff Flake said he wants a delay on the Senate’s Kavanaugh vote. Here’s what it means.," 28 Sep. 2018 Of course, these numbers are largely meaningless compared to more tangible metrics like gross bookings, revenue, and profit. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Lyft hits a major milestone: 1 billion trips," 18 Sep. 2018 Information crashes into other information, false or real, and everything becomes meaningless. Nick Holdsworth, The Hollywood Reporter, "Barry Levinson on Trump-Russia Probe: "He Cannot Look More Guilty Than He Acts"," 4 July 2018 To keep Wang past retirement age, Xi had him step down from the Politburo Standing Committee while ensconcing him in what had been a relatively meaningless ceremonial post. Washington Post, "‘Mr. Fix-It’: China’s new VP has tackled thorniest of crises," 18 Mar. 2018 Orlando attorney Peter McGrath, who represents Orange Tree Village Condominiums, said Brady is a sympathetic figure but the association’s animal restrictions become meaningless if left unenforced. Mary Shanklin,, "Orlando veteran must surrender emotional support dog," 3 Jan. 2018 The buzzer sounded the beginning of the round, and Bennett was kind enough to have me chase him around the ring, forcing me to attack rather than throw meaningless shots. Dan Roe, SELF, "I Was Smoking Weed to Avoid All My Stress and Responsibilities—and Then I Got Punched in the Face," 2 Aug. 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

22 Jun 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 How to pronounce meaningless (audio) \

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).


showing courage and determination

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