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.

Other Words from meditate

meditator \ ˈme-​də-​ˌtā-​tər How to pronounce meditate (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 The veil between worlds is extra thin with their influence, so take some time to meditate and see what comes to you when your mind is cleared. Tarot Astrologers, Chicago Tribune, 26 Sep. 2022 As the creature's carcass rots on the beach untouched — graphically described — Suzanne (who'd tried to help save it) goes frequently to meditate beside it. Joan Frank, Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2022 In another memorable episode, a young girl gets Shapiro-Barnum to meditate, asking him to close his eyes and put his hands on the Brooklyn asphalt. Michela Moscufo, ABC News, 17 Sep. 2022 At the first session, a facilitator used singing bowls in an attempt to get the kids to meditate. New York Times, 19 Aug. 2022 Some kids meditate on yoga mats, while others do art, read positive affirmation books or sit on a cushion and squeeze a stress ball. Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, 7 Feb. 2022 Smith began to meditate, to literally listen for ancestors’ answers to her questions new, old, and urgent. Globe Staff,, 21 July 2022 Farkas believes the pleasing sensory stimuli of his app could also encourage many people who wouldn’t otherwise meditate to give it a try. Matt Fuchs, Washington Post, 17 May 2022 Go to the gym, take long walks, work, do yoga, lift weights, meditate and go to the doctor, dentists and other relevant medical professionals regularly to be proactive. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 13 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near meditate



meditate on/upon

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for meditate

Last Updated

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Meditate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for meditate


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

More from Merriam-Webster on meditate

Nglish: Translation of meditate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meditate for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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