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.

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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 Researchers are not sure how much a person would have to meditate, or for how long, to reap the practice’s benefits. Annie Lowrey, The Atlantic, 4 June 2021 Now with a new baby, it's been challenging to figure out a good time to meditate. D'shonda Brown, Forbes, 2 June 2021 Seeking to take television to a different plane, Nam June Paik trained a tube to meditate. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 28 May 2021 Time to explore and to just be, time to create or meditate. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, 26 May 2021 New wellness zones provide dedicated spaces for workers to stretch or meditate, and the company plans to introduce a mobile app that would let employees view similar educational tools at home. Sebastian Herrera, WSJ, 17 May 2021 Maybe meditate on it while lighting a candle, or burning some incense, or even just sitting still outside under a tree. Amy Solara, Travel + Leisure, 7 May 2021 For those who don't regularly meditate and have yet to find the best tools to help quiet their mind, singing bowls can serve as a great introduction to give yourself something concrete to focus on while meditating. Nikhita Mahtani, Good Housekeeping, 6 May 2021 Oak Idyll, a small grove of oak trees with a stone bench that faces Escondido Creek, is a good place to relax or meditate. Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for meditate

Time Traveler

The first known use of meditate was in 1560

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Statistics for meditate

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Meditate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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 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


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