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 Or meditate or work out—whatever helps you de-stress—before sitting down to pay bills or tackle other financial tasks. Diane Harris, TIME, 15 Apr. 2024 Examples are meditating, exercising, connecting with others, and listening to music—but the goal is to find something relaxing for you.14 6. Carey Rossi, Health, 9 Apr. 2024 In addition to touching on locales like Peoria and Decatur, figures like Frank Lloyd Wright and Carl Sandburg, and esoterica like the 1893 Columbian Exposition’s White City, the album’s tracks meditate on love, loss, liberation, Christianity, mystery, and self-discovery. Jasper Davidoff, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Mar. 2024 For his own mental health, Bass likes to meditate and make his bed to start the day off with a win. David Oliver, USA TODAY, 5 Mar. 2024 Some take time to meditate and reflect on the universe, while others engage in rituals to ward off negative energies. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 5 Apr. 2024 On a trans-Okavango journey, writer Alex Postman meditates on questions of conservation. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Apr. 2024 These practices empower our clients, many of whom have never been able to meditate or relax, to independently cultivate their own peace and calm. Yola Robert, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 More than 40 percent of Black churchgoers also meditate daily or weekly. Essence, 28 Mar. 2024

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 25 May. 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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