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

intransitive verb

: to engage in contemplation or reflection
He meditated long and hard before announcing his decision.
: 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

: to focus one's thoughts on : reflect on or ponder over
He was meditating his past achievements.
: to plan or project in the mind : intend, purpose
He was meditating revenge.
meditator 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 Celeste, one of the finest games to come out in the past decade, uses the challenge of its platforming to meditate on a life that successfully co-exists with anxiety. Keep Mario Weird, Vulture, 30 Oct. 2023 So take a nap, get your eight hours every night, and meditate this month. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 Oct. 2023 Then Kelly sits quietly in the chair opposite me, and the two of us close our eyes and meditate together silently for 20 minutes, each of us repeating our mantra to ourselves. Corey Seymour, Vogue, 20 Oct. 2023 Advertisement Adam: There are always a few daunting aspects of publishing a 700-page, single-sentence series of books about doppelgangers on the western coast of Norway meditating on life and art. Anderson Tepper, Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2023 Bear is meditating on nothing less than the impermanence of life, which is also what Elora wants to discuss. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Sep. 2023 In desperation Dipesh traveled to a remote mountain ashram, meditated—and smoked pot. Sean Williams, Harper's Magazine, 11 Sep. 2023 Before the conversation in May, Peyton had started meditating to better control her anxiety. Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Sep. 2023 But is there a perfect time to meditate to reap optimal benefits? Byalexa Mikhail, Fortune Well, 5 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'meditate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1560, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of meditate was in 1560

Dictionary Entries Near meditate

Cite this Entry

“Meditate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


med·​i·​tate ˈmed-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce meditate (audio)
meditated; meditating
: to consider or think over carefully : contemplate
: to spend time in quiet thinking : reflect
: intend, plan
meditate a trip abroad

More from Merriam-Webster on meditate

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