verb med·i·tate \ ˈme-də-ˌtāt \
Updated on: 9 Feb 2018

Definition of meditate

meditated; meditating
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.


play \-ˌtā-tər\ noun

Examples of meditate in a Sentence

  1. He meditates for an hour every morning.

  2. I've been meditating a career change for months.

Recent Examples of meditate from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of meditate

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

meditate Synonyms

chew over, cogitate, consider, contemplate, debate, deliberate, entertain, eye, kick around, ponder, mull (over), perpend, pore (over), question, revolve, ruminate, study, think (about or over), turn, weigh, wrestle (with)
Related Words
muse (upon), reflect (on or upon), reminisce; analyze, explore, review; conclude, reason; second-guess, speculate (about); brood (about or over), dwell (on or upon), fixate (on or upon), fret (about or over), obsess (about or over); believe, conceive, opine; absorb, assimilate, digest, drink (in)
Near Antonyms
disregard, ignore, overlook, slight; dismiss, pooh-pooh (also pooh), reject

Synonym Discussion of 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

MEDITATE Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of meditate for English Language Learners

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

MEDITATE Defined for Kids


verb med·i·tate \ ˈme-də-ˌtāt \

Definition of meditate for Students

meditated; meditating
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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