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.

Keep scrolling for more

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 His brother said Doss taught him how to stretch and meditate, in both the years before and months since his arrest. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Man gets nearly two decades in prison in drunken-driving crash that left Beachwood math teacher, nonprofit worker dead," 30 Oct. 2019 Morissette also approaches her recovery in part by meditating, leaning on loved ones and turning to a familiar passion: music. CBS News, ""Horrifying" images: Alanis Morissette opens up about her postpartum depression," 22 Oct. 2019 Then, for 30 minutes before sleep, the campers meditate. Sophie Jeong, CNN, "The teenagers so addicted to cellphones they're going to detox centers," 20 Oct. 2019 Earlier in the day, the Duke and Dutchess meditated with schoolchildren as part of a gathering lead by Waves for Change on Monwabisi Beach, near an infamous neighborhood known for its high crime rates. Fox News, "Prince Harry admits he's so 'overwhelmed' over world's issues that he struggles to get out of bed: reports," 26 Sep. 2019 Chances are, no one will be meditating to the sounds of the right whale. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Listen to the First Known Song of the North Pacific Right Whale," 24 June 2019 In the past, when people talked about mindfulness, images like quietly meditating, or retreating to a quiet place appeared less productive. Kimberly Thompson, Houston Chronicle, "Career Rescue: Be mindful of your nursing career," 9 June 2019 Be sure to find and, again, model healthy and natural ways to regulate stress, such as laughing, exercising, meditating and taking calming breathes. Sara Clarkson,, "Clarkson: Parent may feel back-to-school stress, too," 1 Aug. 2019 One of the best and easiest way to rid your mind of extra thoughts is to meditate. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "The Tired Girl's Guide To Getting More Sleep & Having More Energy," 2 May 2012

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about meditate

Time Traveler for meditate

Time Traveler

The first known use of meditate was in 1560

See more words from the same year

Statistics for meditate

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Meditate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on meditate

What made you want to look up meditate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


easily led, controlled, or managed

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!