mes·​sage | \ ˈme-sij How to pronounce message (audio) \

Definition of message

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a communication in writing, in speech, or by signals Please take this message for me to my friend.
2 : a messenger's mission the girl will go on a message to the shop— Cahir Healy
3 : an underlying theme or idea the message is that it is time to changeThe Economist


messaged; messaging

Definition of message (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to send as a message or by messenger
2 : to send a message to

intransitive verb

: to communicate by message

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for message

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of message in a Sentence

Noun Did you get my message? She has received messages of support from hundreds of people. I left a message on her answering machine. He's not here right now. Can I take a message? I liked the story but I didn't really agree with the book's message. He believed in the church's message of forgiveness.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Thin filaments of fungi spread through the soil in a network that ecologists call the Wood Wide Web, through which trees send nutrients and messages to one another underground. Drew Pendergrass, Harper's Magazine, "Ground Control," 25 May 2020 When his estranged father disappears, leaving a cryptic message, Atticus sets out on a road trip from Chicago's South Side to rural Massachusetts. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Ars’ summer reading guide for our very surreal summer," 24 May 2020 Virtual meetings may be having diminishing returns; positive social media messages are nice but likely losing their impact. Kimberlee Josephson, Quartz at Work, "Do not underestimate the power of company swag at a time like this," 22 May 2020 From her bed in the intensive care unit at Rhode Island Hospital, Lakesha Lopez wanted to send a message to her staff at the nursing home. Lynn Arditi, ProPublica, "She Fought to Keep COVID-19 Out of Her Nursing Home. Then, She Got Sick.," 15 May 2020 The tune makes my ears bleed, but its message is strong. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, "Why I’d Rather Fish a River Than a Lake," 11 May 2020 But it’s been given a whole new context now and the message is a lot more interesting. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, "Dallas’ giant eyeball sculpture was vandalized with a message. Here’s what the artist thinks about that.," 31 May 2020 But this message from the @NFL is completely RIDICULOUS. NBC News, "'Shame on you': NFL's Roger Goodell accused of hypocrisy in protest response," 31 May 2020 The message was that this was a problem for black and brown players. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Joe Burrow shows rest of NFL that white athletes have to protest inequality, too," 30 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bastrop County and municipal leaders have made efforts to keep their messaging consistent on the guidelines people should follow to minimize the virus’ spread. Brandon Mulder, USA TODAY, "‘Sorry, no mask allowed': Texas bar resists coronavirus guidance, turns away mask wearers," 28 May 2020 In the future, Facebook said, customers would be able to make purchases directly through these messaging services too. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Facebook makes a bigger push into shopping with new online storefronts for businesses," 19 May 2020 Barometer has run a variety of tests on messaging during real-time news events, from impeachment to the killing of Qassim Suleimani, the Iranian military commander, to the coronavirus response. Nick Corasaniti, New York Times, "How a Digital Ad Strategy That Helped Trump Is Being Used Against Him," 28 Apr. 2020 Mixed messaging around social distancing from people in authority decreases the probability that people will practice it. Jenna Birch,, "Why Are Some People Still Refusing to Practice Social Distancing?," 20 Apr. 2020 There’s always someone in a group text who messages nonstop. Steve Helling,, "Candace Cameron Bure Has a Group Text with Full House Costars — and Reveals Who Messages 'Nonstop'," 17 Apr. 2020 But the White House focused instead on messaging and crucial additional weeks went by before their views were reluctantly accepted by the president—time when the virus spread largely unimpeded. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Trump spreads #FireFauci hashtag on Twitter as pandemic continues," 13 Apr. 2020 Explicit references to health would be a worthwhile addition, the authors argue, because messaging framed around health tends to be more persuasive than environmentally framed messaging. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Climate Experts Want Fossil Fuel Warning Labels At the Pump," 5 Apr. 2020 Outside social media contractors have long been suspected of pushing Chinese government messaging abroad. Jeff Kao, ProPublica, "How China Built a Twitter Propaganda Machine Then Let It Loose on Coronavirus," 29 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'message.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of message


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for message

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin missaticum, from Latin missus, past participle of mittere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about message

Time Traveler for message

Time Traveler

The first known use of message was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for message

Last Updated

4 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Message.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for message


How to pronounce message (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of message

: a piece of information that is sent or given to someone
: an important idea that someone is trying to express in a book, movie, speech, etc.


mes·​sage | \ ˈme-sij How to pronounce message (audio) \

Kids Definition of message

1 : the exchange of information in writing, in speech, or by signals
2 : an underlying theme or idea the book's message

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on message

What made you want to look up message? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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