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

Her message was the latest since a brief update on October 3 in which Ford referred to having to move four times for security reasons; Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on October 6. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Christine Blasey Ford Speaks About Personal Security Costs Post-Kavanaugh Hearings, Pledges Leftover Donations to Survivors," 27 Nov. 2018 In 2015, imaging tests revealed the presence of amyloid plaques, the sticky proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease that collect around brain cells and interfere with relaying messages. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 As Queen Elizabeth mentioned in her message, the pair first met at the British monarch's coronation in 1953. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Just Honored Her Friend Queen Salote, Tonga's 6-Foot Queen Who Reigned for 48 Years," 25 Oct. 2018 His message also is discordant with those coming from Mr. Trump, who has cast the midterms as a test of his first two years in office. Fox News, "Video from 2011 creates headaches for Sinema," 12 Oct. 2018 With the American Dream becoming more of a reality to the middle class, designers and architects honed in on their populist message: Design should not only be beautifully constructed, functional, and efficient, but attainable. Hillary Brown, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Mid-Century Modern Design," 13 Sep. 2018 Instead, the message was all about low cellular latency, and what advantages that would bring. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "I played Shadow of the Tomb Raider over 5G, and it didn't suck," 11 Sep. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The success of Stories drew hundreds of millions of new users and gave birth to a family of new apps, including the IGTV video app and a standalone messaging app that is now in testing. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom on winning the Stories war," 2 Aug. 2018 Police say the woman was messaging her sister during the incident, telling her that she had been raped possibly drugged, according to the court records. Austin Grad, azcentral, "Phoenix tattoo artist accused of sexually assaulting woman in shop," 2 Apr. 2018 These have been my feelings about Google adding messaging functionality to Maps, which on the whole seems like a pretty good feature. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Google Maps will let you chat with businesses," 14 Nov. 2018 Google has tweaked the lock screen messaging while charging to properly reflect what’s happening. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Google offers Pixel 3XL users free Play Store credit, promises bug fixes 'in the coming weeks'," 6 Nov. 2018 This week, a co-worker messaged me an image of Jenner perched on the corner of a hotel bed, all sultry and coy in a body-hugging, completely bedazzled off-the-shoulder dress. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner are Wearing Tom Ford’s Gucci—As They Should," 23 Aug. 2018 The ephemeral-messaging debacle is not the only time in recent weeks that Facebook appears to have not completely thought through how a well-intentioned, but quickly rolled-out, feature might impact its user base. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Facebook Messenger's 'Unsend' Feature Is What Happens When You Scramble," 6 Apr. 2018 Alan Garten, a lawyer for the younger Mr. Trump who was also in New York, was also messaging with White House advisers aboard the plane. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Why Trump is so eager to release the Nunes memo," 1 Feb. 2018 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

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

4 Dec 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).


a nest or breeding place

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