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

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Synonyms for message

Synonyms: Noun

communication, dispatch

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Examples of message in a Sentence


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

However, the message feels ham-fisted, gimmicky, and flat. Kendra James, Harper's BAZAAR, "Captain Marvel Can't Get By on Girl Power Alone," 9 Mar. 2019 Once stimulated, the trigeminal nerve relays a message to the brain, which then sends out various action signals to the body, Dr. Voigt explains. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Quick Question: Why Do We Sneeze?," 8 Mar. 2019 According to Rios, the message behind her brand is less linked to traditional notions of sustainability, and more to the magpie personality that compels her to save every bit of fabric for reuse. Kristen Bateman, Vogue, "Step Into the Colorful World of Marta Rios, the Spaniard Hand-Quilting Dresses and Bags," 7 Mar. 2019 The inspirational message was shared at the end of a four minute speech about WOW and its efforts in helping women and girls achieve their potential. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Watch Camilla Give a Touching Speech About the Potential of Women," 7 Mar. 2019 The message contained a screenshot of a post on the forum, a popular Star Wars collector website. Alexander Huls, Popular Mechanics, "The Great Star Wars Heist," 7 Mar. 2019 Demi just recently celebrated six months of sobriety with cake and a sweet message. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Demi Lovato Reportedly Went to a Treatment Facility—but Not Because of a Relapse," 6 Mar. 2019 Arps works with clients' in-house teams to customize art around their slogans and messages. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "Dani Arps Knows How To Design Rooms That Help You Get Things Done," 11 Feb. 2019 Monde is, in fact, working to fulfill orders via Twitter direct message, hopefully for people overseas as well. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "This Tokyo Artist's Magical Bookshelf Dioramas Are The New Fairy Gardens," 5 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Consumers can order Domino’s in messaging apps, including Facebook and Slack. Nat Ives, WSJ, "Facebook’s Pivot to Messaging Puts Advertisers In a Tight Spot," 8 Mar. 2019 To help candidates with messaging on the tax cuts, Patriotic Millionaires is launching Patriotic Millionaires University, a website that makes the case for running against the tax cuts and gives tips and resources on how to do it. Emily Stewart, Vox, "A group of “patriotic millionaires” thinks Democrats can run — and win — on taxes," 31 July 2018 Also, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Raj Shah will temporarily shift his focus to overseeing communications strategy and messaging on the confirmation process. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump says he's interviewed 4 Supreme Court candidates; will talk to 2-3 more," 2 July 2018 The workplace-messaging company’s IPO could come as soon as this spring, people familiar with the matter have said. Maureen Farrell, WSJ, "Slack Files to Go Public With Direct Listing," 4 Feb. 2019 Currently, sellers typically use a rather manual way to record sales, such as calling out individual buyers on the stream to message them with payment information. Natt Garun, The Verge, "Facebook is testing a shopping mode for live-streamers," 6 Dec. 2018 And the only real difference is that women have to message first. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Swiping on Tinder is addictive. That’s partly because it was inspired by an experiment that ‘turned pigeons into gamblers.’," 19 Sep. 2018 Since launching in 2013, Slack has become an increasingly popular workplace app, combining real-time chat and collaboration features such as the ability to create specific groups or to directly message colleagues. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "It's not just you: Slack is down," 27 June 2018 If anyone knows Dean Crouch- the Academy sports manager that was fired after tackling a guy who stole a gun and threatened to shoot people - have him message us. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "A man stole a gun from a store, cops say. But what a manager did next got him fired.," 12 July 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for message

Last Updated

13 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for message

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

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More Definitions for message



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

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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).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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