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

Check out Lili Reinhart's message for yourself, below. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Lili Reinhart Wrote a Savage Message to Fans Petitioning for a Game of Thrones Do-over," 17 May 2019 Along with the empowering message behind Fenty, Stenberg also loves the brand's products. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Amandla Stenberg Is the New Face of Fenty Beauty," 16 May 2019 In regards to clothing, color has long been used to signify social or political status as well as denote other critical messages. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "How Color in Fashion Has Been Used Throughout History To Display Political Solidarity," 14 May 2019 The Duchess of Sussex recorded a message for CAMFED's Education Changes Everything Gala, which took place in New York on Thursday, May 9. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Duchess Meghan Records Surprise Message for CAMFED Gala," 10 May 2019 As tensions with the U.S. over trade have escalated, China’s government has turned to state media to carry a message to the public: Stay calm and confident knowing that Beijing is in control. Eva Dou, WSJ, "Keep Calm: China’s Media Says Not to Worry About Trade Fight With U.S.," 9 May 2019 Kate and William took to Instagram to thank fans for their congratulatory messages on the special day. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Celebrate Eighth Wedding Anniversary with Sweet Instagram Post," 29 Apr. 2019 Proudly flying the flags of both body-positivity and racial equality (the action unfolds in early-1960s Baltimore), the brassy musical isn’t camp in its message so much as in its unabashedly outré optics. Marley Marius, Vogue, "The 5 Campiest Musicals Ever Made," 27 Apr. 2019 Email messages seeking comment were left Friday with lawyers representing Roberts and the women, who haven’t been identified. David Klepper, The Seattle Times, "State probes doctor it says branded women in sex slave case," 13 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Rogoff messaged transit-board members last Tuesday that bids would be postponed, and by Friday, King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, who chairs the board’s System Expansion Committee, emailed that news to people who commented. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "Sound Transit puts bus outsourcing on hold," 25 Mar. 2019 Some brands have made messaging their native habitat. Nat Ives, WSJ, "Facebook’s Pivot to Messaging Puts Advertisers In a Tight Spot," 8 Mar. 2019 House Republicans have been unhappy with their party’s messagingRepublicans’ messaging problem in the House started soon after Trump took office. Tara Golshan, Vox, "House Republicans have a new messenger: Liz Cheney," 14 Nov. 2018 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

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

22 May 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).


a strong desire or propensity

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