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

To leave a message of comfort for the Stewart family, please visit, Hartford Courant,, "Nona H. Stewart," 14 July 2018 One of the most shocking messages was a pornographic photo O’Connell received of a 1-and-a-half year old girl. Caleb Parke, Fox News, "Villanova ministry director facing child porn charges called naked toddler girls 'hot,' police say," 13 July 2018 Project ChildSafe is a program developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation that aims to promote firearm safety through the distribution of safety education messages and free firearm safety kits, the program's website states. Victoria Cheyne, Houston Chronicle, "Free firearm safety kits to be distributed," 12 July 2018 Dozier has not responded to messages through his lawyers to speak with The Associated Press. Ken Ritter, The Seattle Times, "Drug company’s lawsuit could derail Nevada execution," 10 July 2018 The woman who posted the accusations and the ex-girlfriend have not responded to messages left by the Associated Press. John Wawrow,, "LeSean McCoy calls accusation of domestic violence 'completely false'," 10 July 2018 Local superintendents declined to comment or did not respond to messages. Nomaan Merchant,, "Hunger, fear, desperation: What came of an ordinary ICE raid in Covington," 9 July 2018 Hollywood actor Mark Wahlberg has sent England's Tottenham attacking stars, Harry Kane and Dele Alli, a message of encouragement ahead of their World Cup semi-final meeting with Croatia., "Hollywood Star Mark Wahlberg Talks Up England's Spurs Players on Social Media Ahead of WC Semi-Final," 8 July 2018 The friend took screen shots of messages and provided them to authorities. Stu Hirsch, Post-Tribune, "Indiana high school swim coach charged for alleged sexual relationship with student," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The video assistant, placed far away from the action in front of a bank of monitors, can message the referee to stop play if one of those situations occurs. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Video replay (VAR) is a joke, and it's making the World Cup worse," 23 June 2018 Marketers from the treatment center had to approve every post in the group, which gave them the first opportunity to privately message good candidates for their rehab and try to talk them into going to Windward in California. Cat Ferguson, The Verge, "Predatory behavior runs rampant in Facebook’s addiction support groups," 21 May 2018 The Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks displayed the campaign's private communications, including deliberations about messaging that played into attacks that Clinton was calculating and a political flip-flopper. CBS News, "Trump responds to Russian hacking indictment by blaming Obama administration," 14 July 2018 Mixed messaging possible Communities are desperate for solutions to prevent the next generation from falling into addictiongiven Kentucky’s — and the nation’s — ever-worsening heroin epidemic. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Do those real-life addiction stories really keep kids off drugs?," 12 July 2018 Honestly: There is no avoiding politics and messaging with that setup. Michael Phillips,, "'The First Purge' review: The riskiest-ever federal entitlement program begins," 3 July 2018 Honestly: There is no avoiding politics and messaging with that setup. Michael Phillips, The Seattle Times, "‘The First Purge’: Violent, erratic prequel shows how it all began," 3 July 2018 To protect user privacy, the exact address of the host is hidden, so users must message hosts through the app to arrange meeting times and drop-offs. Josie Colt, WIRED, "Compost Makes an Internet Community Grow, Thanks to an App," 19 June 2018 At the same time, dozens of young women and men were messaging me to ask how to get my body and how to look like me. Bridget Malcolm, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bridget Malcolm Wants You to Know How Hard Models Work for Their Lean Bodies," 20 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

11 Sep 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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