med·​i·​tate | \ ˈme-də-ˌtāt How to pronounce meditate (audio) \
meditated; meditating

Definition of meditate

intransitive verb

1 : to engage in contemplation or reflection He meditated long and hard before announcing his decision.
2 : to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness

transitive verb

1 : to focus one's thoughts on : reflect on or ponder over He was meditating his past achievements.
2 : to plan or project in the mind : intend, purpose He was meditating revenge.

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Other Words from meditate

meditator \ ˈme-​də-​ˌtā-​tər How to pronounce meditator (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for meditate

ponder, meditate, muse, ruminate mean to consider or examine attentively or deliberately. ponder implies a careful weighing of a problem or, often, prolonged inconclusive thinking about a matter. pondered the course of action meditate implies a definite focusing of one's thoughts on something so as to understand it deeply. meditated on the meaning of life muse suggests a more or less focused daydreaming as in remembrance. mused upon childhood joys ruminate implies going over the same matter in one's thoughts again and again but suggests little of either purposive thinking or rapt absorption. ruminated on past disappointments

Examples of meditate in a Sentence

He meditates for an hour every morning. I've been meditating a career change for months.
Recent Examples on the Web Make time to meditate, breathe deeply, and contemplate the true nature of things every day. The Oracles, USA TODAY, "Graduating college during the pandemic? These business titans have some advice for you," 2 June 2020 And the scenes of people meditating or practicing various forms of mindfulness occasionally border on the cheesy, often resembling a television commercial. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Mindfulness Movement': Film Review," 26 Mar. 2020 Happy Not Perfect is an approachable method of getting the results of straightforward meditation for the many who either have difficulty meditating or simply can never find the time. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Need a Happiness Workout? There's an App for That," 4 Sep. 2019 Maybe meditate with them, take a walk, listen to soothing music or practice breathing. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "How to help children with ADHD thrive in a virtual schoolhouse," 23 May 2020 Plus, there’s a meditating quality to traversing Death Stranding’s empty terrain that can help with stress relief. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Games getting us through COVID-19—blocks, roguelites, whatever Death Stranding is," 25 Apr. 2020 South’s other stories meditate on similar attempts to use technology as a coping mechanism for emotional pain. Jenessa Abrams, The Atlantic, "Mary South’s Lonely World of Tech-Abetted Humans," 21 Apr. 2020 Think about a variety of things to do together in your virtual chats (play games, have spa days, pray or meditate together, have Netflix parties). Karen Yuan, Fortune, "The Coronavirus Economy: Working as a therapist in an anxious time," 17 Apr. 2020 Many people find that meditating, focusing on deep breathing or practicing progressive muscle relaxation calms nerves and helps eliminate anxiety. oregonlive, "Sleeping and coronavirus: How to enjoy a restful night during the pandemic," 9 Apr. 2020

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

1560, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for meditate

Latin meditatus, past participle of meditari, frequentative of medēri to remedy — more at medical

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Time Traveler for meditate

Time Traveler

The first known use of meditate was in 1560

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Statistics for meditate

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Meditate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for meditate


How to pronounce meditate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of meditate

: to spend time in quiet thought for religious purposes or relaxation


med·​i·​tate | \ ˈme-də-ˌtāt How to pronounce meditate (audio) \
meditated; meditating

Kids Definition of meditate

1 : to consider carefully : plan Here I meditated nothing but my escape …— Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
2 : to spend time in quiet thinking : reflect

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