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

What is the alt-right?: How is the alt-right using social media to spread its message? Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Prosecutors seek life sentence for James Fields Jr. in Charlottesville car attack that killed Heather Heyer," 28 June 2019 Two years of planning enabled Castro to hone his message and build his team. Gilbert Garcia,, "Castro’s discipline pays off on the big stage," 28 June 2019 Thank you to everyone for all of the kind messages. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Where Is Sara Haines? Here's What Will Happen to 'Strahan and Sara' Now That She's on Maternity Leave," 28 June 2019 Doctors should have gotten the message by now that deserting patients is a violation of medical practice standards, not to mention human rights. STAT, "Stop persecuting doctors for legitimately prescribing opioids for chronic pain," 28 June 2019 Warren has been the phenomenon of the election so far because of the scope of her expertise and the lucidity of her message of inequality and corruption. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "At the Democratic Debate, Elizabeth Warren’s Reformism Versus Trump’s Moral Crisis," 27 June 2019 Camped outside the Iranian Embassy in London, his message is simple: His wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, must be freed. Fox News, "Husband of aid worker jailed in Iran says his wife is being used as ‘bargaining chip’," 26 June 2019 But the message was clear: youthful, healthy, rich, heterosexual, unapologetically white. Brock Keeling, Curbed, "The rise and fall of Laguna Beach, a gay California hotspot," 26 June 2019 Its customers can exchange money and messages through its app. Nir Kshetri, Quartz India, "Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra, could be a boon for developing nations like India," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram say that messages sent on their systems cannot be intercepted by third parties during the delivery from sender to recipient. Washington Post, "Chinese cyberattack hits messaging app during HK protest," 13 June 2019 Jennifer Hope, a mother of eight who lives on Jefferson County’s Lookout Mountain, found the Facebook group days after the Sandy Hook shooting and messaged Watts asking to get involved. Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, "How a Colorado mother went from starting a Facebook group to identifying as the National Rifle Association’s worst nightmare," 9 June 2019 After that, Sally last messaged with sister in September 2015. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Sister of woman accused of supporting ISIS shares her family's story: 'I've always been there for her'," 7 June 2019 The messages are coming from Americans who seem to be tagging or messaging their farm by mistake, Ledger said. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "A British estate is getting social media death threats intended for Fair Oaks Farms," 11 June 2019 But some consumer advocates have pushed for the FCC to instead classify messaging as a telecommunications service. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "The FCC’s plan to fight spam texts could give phone companies more power over messaging," 20 Nov. 2018 So many people messaged me on Snapchat on how satisfying this video was. Joy Johnston, ajc, "WATCH: 'Chopping cilantro' video goes viral," 6 Jan. 2018 The nearby Naval Air Facility El Centro messaged that the crash site was north of Plaster City, west of El Centro. CBS News, "4 Marines killed in helicopter crash in Southern California," 4 Apr. 2018 The first 100 guests who messaged the mom-to-be on Instagram, and were asked to make a donation to the Jenesse Center. Jen Juneau,, "NE-YO and Wife Crystal Reveal the Sex of Their Baby on the Way at Charitable Party," 24 Jan. 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

3 Jul 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

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