content

1 of 4

noun (1)

con·​tent ˈkän-ˌtent How to pronounce content (audio)
1
a
: something contained
usually used in plural
the jar's contents
the drawer's contents
b
: the topics or matter treated in a written work
table of contents
c
: the principal substance (such as written matter, illustrations, or music) offered by a website
… Internet users have evolved an ethos of free content in the Internet.Ben Gerson
2
c
: the events, physical detail, and information in a work of art compare form sense 10c
The film was rated R for its violent content.
3
a
: the matter dealt with in a field of study
… the content of sociology is inexhaustible …Franklin H. Giddings
b
: a part, element, or complex of parts
4
: the amount of specified material contained : proportion
the sulfur content in coal

content

2 of 4

adjective

con·​tent kən-ˈtent How to pronounce content (audio)
: contented, satisfied
She was content with her life as it was.

content

3 of 4

verb

con·​tent kən-ˈtent How to pronounce content (audio)
contented; contenting; contents

transitive verb

1
: to appease the desires of
… he had been betrayed into a position which neither contented his heart nor satisfied his conscience.Edward Bulwer-Lytton
2
: to limit (oneself) in requirements, desires, or actions
The rainy weather spoiled our plans for the beach, so we had to content ourselves with a relaxing day at home.

content

4 of 4

noun (2)

con·​tent kən-ˈtent How to pronounce content (audio)
: contentment
He ate to his heart's content.

Examples of content in a Sentence

Adjective The baby looks content in her crib. A fancy hotel is not necessary; I'd be content with a warm meal and a clean place to sleep. No, I don't want to play. I'm content to watch. Not content to stay at home, she set off to see the world at the age of 16. Polls show that voters are growing less and less content with the current administration. Verb The toys contented the children, at least for a little while. a person easily contented by life's simple pleasures See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In order to sip on high-end malbec, cabernet sauvignon, and chardonnay to your heart’s content (and snack on ample dining options), head up the stairs by Terminal B’s Gate 15 to access the lounge. Jared Ranahan, Travel + Leisure, 19 Feb. 2024 Join Fox News for access to this content Plus get unlimited access to thousands of articles, videos and more with your free account! Chris Eberhart, Fox News, 19 Feb. 2024 McClatchy newsrooms were not involved in the creation of this content. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 19 Feb. 2024 In this refreshed version, the content is organized by musician, with each one getting their own chapter speaking about the range of topics the prior version had as topic headings. Lily Moayeri, SPIN, 19 Feb. 2024 Blogging/Vlogging Lean into your hobbies and skills, and share them online through creating valuable, informative, and/or entertaining content. Rachel Wells, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 Everything That's Gone Wrong for Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign's 'Vultures 1' Rollout Where there once might’ve been a division between a musician and a content creator, those walls are beginning to crumble, as the online world demands content from each and every one of us. Jeff Ihaza, Rolling Stone, 18 Feb. 2024 The icing on the cake was the quick turnaround of getting the content back. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 17 Feb. 2024 Extremely small homes have long been an object of curiosity and fodder for internet content; their tight proportions seem to say large things about their occupants. Conor Dougherty, New York Times, 17 Feb. 2024
Adjective
But the movie’s director, Yorgos Lanthimos, is not content with a linguistic bildungsroman. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 12 Feb. 2024 Most of the Niner Empire in Vegas, though, is content with hanging around the stadium. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 10 Feb. 2024 Still, others were perfectly content to just enjoy the cute video. Brooke Baitinger, Idaho Statesman, 7 Feb. 2024 The 34-year-old appears to be content with being an anti-hero, however. Sam Joseph, CNN, 6 Feb. 2024 Adobe recently released the Content Credentials system that puts content provenance information into the metadata of images. Emilia David, The Verge, 6 Feb. 2024 For almost a decade after the original Rocky, Weathers had to be content with playing Apollo Creed again and again, despite being a vastly superior athlete and a more innately charismatic performer than Stallone. Vulture, 4 Feb. 2024 Outside it, too, the sense that everything can be content — that all of our lives can be curated and commodified for the consumption of others — has become something close to a guiding ideology. Rory Smith, New York Times, 27 Jan. 2024 In Poland such graves are occasionally uncovered by chance, but there are those not content to leave it at that. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 7 Jan. 2024
Verb
On Tuesday, the British media contented itself with images of Prince Harry arriving at his father’s London residence, Clarence House, for a visit. Mark Landler, New York Times, 6 Feb. 2024 Whereas some name-brand Hollywood directors cultivated their public personas, Jewison, who died last week at 97, contented himself with creating some of the most captivating movies of the 20th century. Ira Wells, The Atlantic, 25 Jan. 2024 Anyone can see that cats that are well fed still pounce on small moving objects, and that cats can lead healthy and seemingly contented lives indoors. Jonathan Franzen, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023 Historically, lodgings outside the capital have contented themselves with hosting the budget-conscious backpacker crowd. John Bowe, Travel + Leisure, 18 Oct. 2023 Rather than working long hours on set for a production company or movie studio, a growing number of children create, and often monetize, content themselves in the hopes of building a media empire like MrBeast, one of YouTube’s biggest stars. Taylor Lorenz, Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2023 Regardless, the Chargers were left feeling less than contented as their fading season ambled on. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2023 Nyad was blown off course and contented with shoulder pain, asthma and stings from jellyfish and Portuguese man-of-war. Jack Smart, Peoplemag, 3 Nov. 2023 If the statues themselves are beyond your gifting price range, there’s also the option to content yourself with some window shopping. Vulture Staff, Vulture, 20 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'content.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin contentum (usually in plural contenta), noun derivative from neuter past participle of Latin continēre "to hold together, restrain, have as contents" — more at contain

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin contentus "satisfied," from past participle of continēre "to hold together, restrain, have as contents" — more at contain

Note: The sense "satisfied" of Latin contentus presumably developed from the more literal meaning "self-contained, restrained, held in." This is still somewhat apparent in early uses, as in this passage from Plautus's Poenulus: "ego faxo posthac di deaeque ceteri / contentiores mage erunt atque avidi minus, / quom scibunt, ut Veneri adierit leno manum." ("I will make the other gods and goddesses more restrained (contentiores) and less greedy when they know how the procurer played a trick on Venus.")

Verb

Middle English contenten "to rest satisfied, satisfy," borrowed from Anglo-French contenter "to satisfy," borrowed from Medieval Latin contentāre, verbal derivative of Latin contentus "satisfied" — more at content entry 2

Noun (2)

noun derivative of content entry 2 or content entry 3

First Known Use

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1579, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of content was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near content

Cite this Entry

“Content.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/content. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

content

1 of 4 adjective
con·​tent kən-ˈtent How to pronounce content (audio)
: pleased and satisfied with what one has or is

content

2 of 4 verb
: to make content : satisfy

content

3 of 4 noun
: contentment
especially : freedom from care or discomfort

content

4 of 4 noun
con·​tent ˈkän-ˌtent How to pronounce content (audio)
1
a
: something contained
usually used in plural
the contents of a jar
b
: the subject matter or topics treated (as in a book)
table of contents
2
: the essential meaning
I enjoy the rhythm of the poem but I don't understand its content
3
: an amount that is contained or can be contained
oil with a high content of sulfur
the jug has a content of four liters

Medical Definition

content

noun
con·​tent ˈkän-ˌtent How to pronounce content (audio)
1
: something contained
usually used in plural
the stomach contents
2
: the subject matter or symbolic significance of something see latent content, manifest content
3
: the amount of specified material contained
the sulfur content of a sample

More from Merriam-Webster on content

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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