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 The next few days were bliss: a hike through bamboo forests, meditating by a river, dancing in her underwear on a hillside, chilling in a cafe playing her drum. Christian Shepherd, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 But spending 30 minutes meditating or taking a walk during your lunch break probably will. Bryce Hoffman, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 People who meditate regularly and practice mindfulness techniques like journaling and breathwork can improve their focus and creativity while reducing anxiety. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 31 Jan. 2024 But hotels aren’t the only places travelers can find opportunities to exercise and meditate. Michelle Marchante, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 How to do 60 seconds of meditation every hour One of my favorite ways to meditate, still my mind, and regulate my heartbeat is to practice heart-rhythm meditation. Fiona Embleton, Glamour, 24 Jan. 2024 According to health and wellness consultant Shikha Agarwal, the last quarter of the night before sunrise as well as early morning is the healthiest time to meditate. Hasina Jeelani, Glamour, 18 Jan. 2024 But Harmon is also meditating on cities closer to hand. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 11 Jan. 2024 McCarthy has meditated for about 10 minutes before every Michigan game, in addition to between 30 to 40 minutes each day in the morning, according to MLive. Alexa Mikhail, Fortune Well, 9 Jan. 2024 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 4 Mar. 2024.

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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