mes·​sage | \ˈme-sij \

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

The behaviors deemed abusive cover a range of user-hostile things, such as ads that masquerade as system error messages, ads with fake close boxes that actually activate an ad when clicked, phishing, and malware. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Chrome 71 will block any and all ads on sites with “abusive experiences”," 5 Nov. 2018 As Streetsblog notes, there are many goals, such as safety, speed reduction, and equity, where advocates need to stand firm against backsliding or wavering by corporations trying to mix a progressive message with the profit motive. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Scooter companies, seeking to shape regulations, hire transit advocates," 17 Oct. 2018 Well Child Cancer, the children's cancer charity Balfe supports, posted a sweet message: As did the official Outlander Twitter account: This last Tweet was the only to get a reply from Balfe. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Outlander's Sam Heughan Just Wished Caitriona Balfe Happy Birthday With the Sweetest Instagram," 4 Oct. 2018 But by employing advanced medical-grade X-ray techniques, researchers at the University of Cardiff were able to decipher the obscured message, once thought completely lost to history. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Used X-Rays to Read This 400-Year-Old Burnt Up Scroll," 4 Oct. 2018 The sudden shift may seem heavy-handed and the message a little obvious, but the music is beguiling, not so much simple as transparent and generous. New York Times, "Is ‘Mass’ Leonard Bernstein’s Best Work, or His Worst?," 13 July 2018 But the true genius of using linear perspective is that its elements—a vanishing point and a horizon line—express the painting’s scriptural message. Robert E. Gordon, WSJ, "A Multi-Layered Drama," 13 July 2018 Fort Worth schools is offering a $500 bonus for new hires The message will also be included in Spanish and English television and radio ads, Griffith said. Diane Smith, star-telegram, "Hey, Fort Worth students, do you know what time classes start next school year?," 13 July 2018 The message says that final purchases using the existing built-in service will need to be placed by Sept. 30, 2018, 9to5 Mac reports. Emily Price, Fortune, "Apple Is Getting Rid of Its Photo Printing Service," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The next morning DeLuca messaged DuPree over 23andMe's site. Cortlynn Stark, kansascity, "‘I’d fly anywhere to meet them’: Sisters unite with half-sister at KCI," 22 June 2018 Americans are messaging friends, streaming videos and summoning transportation and other services on their smartphones more than ever. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "Cellphone Bills Go Up for First Time in Nearly Two Years," 13 July 2018 Just days after the close, Gevers messaged Arthur to propose that the foundation hire someone to serve as a joint COO of both the Tezos Foundation and Gevers’ own company, Monetas. Gideon Lewis-kraus, WIRED, "The Blockchain: A Love Story—And a Horror Story," 18 June 2018 Lisa Jeffery, a science teacher at Leamington High School, messaged her Eco-Team, students in an environmental club at the school, and six responded. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Lake St. Clair has worse E. coli pollution than Lake Erie, study finds," 31 May 2018 The survey also finds that messaging about the number of indictments already handed down is more effective than highlighting Mueller’s credentials. NBC News, "First Read's Morning Clips: About last night," 23 May 2018 Music controls up top, then messaging, then email, then all the rest. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Why iPhone notifications need an overhaul," 18 Apr. 2018 Someone on a different online dating site messaged her about going out dancing tonight. The Cut, "The Fitness Instructor Who Tried Out for The Bachelor," 11 Mar. 2018 My check was cashed, and after messaging the person again about a tracking number for the package in case it had been lost, I was blocked on all forms of social media. Amy Dickinson,, "Workplace mentor falls down on the job," 11 Mar. 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


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


see message entry 1

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Statistics for message

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

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 \

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).


noxious or harmful

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