\ 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
4 : theme, topic
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
7 : textbook
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from text


texter noun

Synonyms for text

Synonyms: Noun

handbook, manual, primer, textbook

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of text in a Sentence


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.


I texted her a little while ago. I texted a message to her. She just texted me back.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Copy and forward the original text to 7726 (SPAM), free of charge. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "6 clever ways to quash robotext spam messages before it’s too late," 29 Aug. 2019 The distance between the text and the character is so minimal. Ryan Chapman, Longreads, "‘Nobody in This Book Is Going to Catch a Break’: Téa Obreht on “Inland”," 28 Aug. 2019 The text Gokaslan and Cohen’s software generates can be impressively fluid. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "OpenAI Said Its Code Was Risky. Two Grads Recreated It Anyway," 26 Aug. 2019 And that’s when the group texts begin in earnest, and your financial debt is paid back in the form of psychic restoration. Wired, "The Beautiful Potential of Never-Ending Bachelor Parties," 22 Aug. 2019 Wix sent the texts to his ex-girlfriend, who alerted law enforcement. Harmeet Kaur And Shawn Nottingham, CNN, "A man was arrested in Florida for threatening to open fire on a large crowd of people," 18 Aug. 2019 The text is lyrical and the lively illustrations help tell the story, especially Shipman’s depiction of animals. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "New children’s books cover a lot of territory: first steps, sci-fi and math, and Little Free Libraries," 11 Aug. 2019 The nature of the relationship between translator and writer depends on the text. Constance Grady, Vox, "Jane Austen was shockingly underpaid compared to other authors of her era," 10 Aug. 2019 Many have noted that Yang has channeled his unconventional sprit into Ne Zha, which is an innovative take on a well known work of classical Chinese mythology, the Ming Dynasty-era text Fengshen Yanyi (also known as The Investiture of the Gods). Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, "How Chinese Animation Film 'Ne Zha' Became a Surprise $400M-Plus Hit," 8 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Before Harrell’s first game calling plays at USC against Fresno State on Aug. 31, Riley texted him. Los Angeles Times, "Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley is the nation’s preeminent quarterback guru," 12 Sep. 2019 The next morning, Marilyn texted me a link to a Twitch stream where #OrbGang members crowdsourced fresh memes. Amanda Hess, New York Times, "Ironic Occultists for Marianne Williamson," 11 Sep. 2019 Silva texted her sister, father and mother and told them there was a man in the hotel lobby wearing a full headdress and carrying multiple cellphones who was pledging allegiance to the terrorist group. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Emirati man settles lawsuit filed after Avon police detained him because hotel clerk claimed he supported ISIS," 11 Sep. 2019 Nigel texted a group of FanDuel employees: Fantasy pick? Albert Chen, SI.com, "Billion Dollar Fantasy: Inside the War Between FanDuel and DraftKings that Rocked the Gambling Industry," 10 Sep. 2019 Bolton also texted several reporters that he did not been fired, as the president said. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "John Bolton says he offered to resign from White House before Trump fired him," 10 Sep. 2019 One crew member, apparently confused about the set up, reportedly texted an acquaintance, saying their daily per diem didn’t cover food and drinks at the Trump resort. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "US military spent $17.2 million at Scottish airport near Trump resort," 9 Sep. 2019 Her husband texted her video footage from their Ring doorbell system that showed two men walking in their backyard, both wearing dark blue hoodies. La Cañada Valley Sun, "Crime Report: 2 Highland Drive homes ransacked the same day," 4 Sep. 2019 The 14-year-old texted his big sister on the first day at Reidsville Senior High about all the things that had gone wrong. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "After story about freshman's terrible first day of school goes viral, upperclassmen befriend him at lunch," 3 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about text

Statistics for text

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for text

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for text



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
3 : textbook
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on text

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with text

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for text

Spanish Central: Translation of text

Nglish: Translation of text for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of text for Arabic Speakers

Comments on text

What made you want to look up text? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!