med·​i·​tate | \ˈme-də-ˌtāt \
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.

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Other Words from meditate

meditator \-​ˌtā-​tər \ 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

Take a moment to meditate on whatever that means to you. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "This Beautiful Geometry Pie Is My Single Greatest Accomplishment," 22 June 2018 Amid the bombast and teasers for games that are months or years away from release, audiences in pre-show sessions across Los Angeles last weekend previewed a quiet game that aims to meditate on crippling depression and suicidal thoughts. Todd Martens,, "In a divisive political climate, E3 shows that maybe video games had it right all along," 12 June 2018 His booth was filled with dozens of his paintings of superheroes and other pop culture figures — Black Panther, Mr. Spock and Iron Man included — all meditating in full uniforms, viewed from behind in a monk-like cross-legged pose. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "Silicon Valley Comic Con, filled with costumes and comics, takes a Zen approach," 8 Apr. 2018 Now the study was small – only 110 women – but other studies have shown how meditation can not only help reduce stress but also change the brain of those who meditate for 25 minutes or more per day. Christina Boufis, Woman's Day, "Feeling Zen," 6 June 2011 Most smudging practitioners begin the ritual by meditating; the goal is to be peaceful and present in your space. Alyssa Nassner, Curbed, "Cleansing 101: Keeping your home’s energy in check," 17 Oct. 2018 The expectant mom detailed signing up for a beginner's meditation class, which includes learning to meditate twice a day for 20 minutes each, saying a mantra, and sitting upright with your eyes closed. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pippa Middleton Sports Polka Dots and Talks Her Final Month of Pregnancy," 10 Oct. 2018 But in a June interview with Them, King Princess insisted the promo wasn’t pre-meditated. Hanna Lustig, Teen Vogue, "King Princess Thanked Harry Styles for His Viral Shoutout of Her Lyrics," 25 July 2018 Ekapol is a former novice Buddhist monk who still meditates daily. Kristin Clark Taylor, Washington Post, "Thai soccer coach meditated with boys to calm them in the cave. We can all learn from them.," 11 July 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for meditate

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for meditate

The first known use of meditate was in 1560

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More Definitions for meditate



English Language Learners Definition of meditate

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


med·​i·​tate | \ˈme-də-ˌtāt \
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on meditate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with meditate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for meditate

Spanish Central: Translation of meditate

Nglish: Translation of meditate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of meditate for Arabic Speakers

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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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