\ ˈtekst How to pronounce text (audio) \

Definition of text

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : the original words and form of a written or printed work
(2) : an edited or emended copy of an original work
b : a work containing such text
2a : the main body of printed or written matter on a page
b : the principal part of a book exclusive of front and back matter
c : the printed score of a musical composition
3a(1) : a verse or passage of Scripture chosen especially for the subject of a sermon or for authoritative support (as for a doctrine)
(2) : a passage from an authoritative source providing an introduction or basis (as for a speech)
b : a source of information or authority
5a : the words of something (such as a poem) set to music
b : matter chiefly in the form of words or symbols that is treated as data for processing by computerized equipment text-editing software
6 : a type suitable for printing running text
8a : something (such as a story or movie) considered as an object to be examined, explicated, or deconstructed
b : something likened to a text the surfaces of daily life are texts to be explicated— Michiko Kakutani
9 : frame of reference sense 2 updated to fit the women's lib text for consciousness raising— Judith Crist
10 : text message sent a text with the details


texted\ ˈtek-​stəd How to pronounce texted (audio) , nonstandard  ˈtekst \; texting

Definition of text (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to send a text message from one cell phone to another

intransitive verb

: to communicate by text messaging

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Other Words from text


texter noun

Synonyms for text

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of text in a Sentence

Noun A good critic will refer back to the text often. You can find the full text of his speech on his Web site. the text of the Constitution The book is mostly photographs—it has very little text. At this point the Web site is only text. Graphics will be added later. Students will read and discuss various literary texts. Verb I texted her a little while ago. I texted a message to her. She just texted me back.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The warrant also referred to a series of threatening and abusive text messages that Major purportedly sent to her landlord over the previous several weeks. Ramon Antonio Vargas | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Evicted woman accused of torching apartment building returned to New Orleans to face arson counts," 5 Sep. 2020 Castro, who spoke to her mother the night before, became worried when Albright wasn’t answering text messages or calls that morning. Jacob Beltran, ExpressNews.com, "Woman killed in apparent murder-suicide managed Market Square shop," 4 Sep. 2020 Police obtained evidence showing text messages to Slattum arranging for the purchase and found him in Rosemount. Erin Adler, Star Tribune, "Hastings man charged with murder in woman's overdose death," 3 Sep. 2020 To notice their dumb tattoos, smell their odors of sweat and perfume, surreptitiously read their text messages. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Photographer Peeking at Your Phone," 3 Sep. 2020 The boy, according to the mother, did things such as take money from her purse and not respond to her phone calls or text messages. cleveland, "Woman loses $18,500 in computer scam: Beachwood police blotter," 2 Sep. 2020 Officers from the Oceanside Police Department had conducted a probation check on Pohlman and found a small amount of drugs, and in checking her phone found text messages between her and Stevenson. Greg Moran, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego DA charges ex-Probation Officer with evidence tampering," 2 Sep. 2020 Krahulec was among many sending text messages to Madsen via satellite during her journey. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "Inspired by Paralympian, Phoenix woman rows solo across Lake Ontario," 2 Sep. 2020 September 1 marks the first day college football coaches can directly contact class of 2022 prospects, including recruiting material, e-mails, text messages and direct messages on social media. oregonlive, "Recruiting: Oregon Ducks officially begin recruiting dozens of 2022 football prospects," 1 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb See if your MySpace profile is still up and text your friends cringy photos. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Work from home = no commute. What should Houston do with all this free time?," 4 Sep. 2020 Roughly 3,000 volunteers will call and text eligible voters around the state through Sunday with the goal of providing them with information on how to register to vote. Paul Cobler, Dallas News, "Texas Democrats announce massive voter registration drive aimed at flipping the state," 30 Aug. 2020 Residents can text either JPALERT or JPNOTICIAS to 888-777 to receive alerts. Chad Calder | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Jefferson Parish officials: Here's how residents should prepare for possible hurricanes next week," 21 Aug. 2020 Those unable to safely speak can text LOVEIS to 22522 or visit thehotline.org. Stephanie Pagones, Fox News, "Utah man throws wife into river during argument over dinner, report says," 18 Aug. 2020 Atlanta fans should text HAWKS to 26797; Golden State fans WARRIORS to 26797 and Clips fans CLIPPERS to 26797. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Some NBA teams start 'The Voters Win' text competition, want fans to make Good Trouble," 14 Aug. 2020 The entrance to the shopping center was strictly controlled by security guards, and a sign for curbside pickup was posted near the entrance, informing shoppers to call or text the store for their orders. John Aguilar, The Denver Post, "Businesses creak to life as Colorado’s stay-at-home order lifts," 28 Apr. 2020 The union typically blasts text messages to all employees of an affected store, warning them that there's a case. Olga Kharif, Star Tribune, "With official systems swamped, union gets into contact tracing," 21 Aug. 2020 Brett Kuczynski stared at his phone for nearly an hour, agonizing over what to text teammates from his small Illinois school. Washington Post, "Live updates: University of Notre Dame pauses in-person learning after reporting more coronavirus cases," 19 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'text.' 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 text


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1998, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for text


Middle English, from Anglo-French tiste, texte, from Medieval Latin textus, from Latin, texture, context, from texere to weave — more at technical

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Time Traveler for text

Time Traveler

The first known use of text was in the 14th century

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Statistics for text

Last Updated

11 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Text.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/text. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for text


How to pronounce text (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of text

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the original words of a piece of writing or a speech
: the words that make up the main part of a book, magazine, newspaper, Web site, etc.
: a book or other piece of writing especially : one that is studied



English Language Learners Definition of text (Entry 2 of 2)

: to send someone a text message


\ ˈtekst \

Kids Definition of text

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the actual words of an author's work
2 : the main body of printed or written matter on a page
4 : a Bible passage that is the subject of a sermon


texted; texting

Kids Definition of text (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to send (someone) a text message
2 : to communicate by text messaging

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Comments on text

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