Share this entry

Share this page

message

Syllabification: mes·sage
Pronunciation: /ˈmesij
 
/

Definition of message in English:

noun

1A verbal, written, or recorded communication sent to or left for a recipient who cannot be contacted directly: if I’m not there, leave a message on the voice mail
More example sentences
  • The messages are not sent directly to the recipient's phone, rather the sender and the recipient must subscribe to the service which provides a secret link for them to access the message.
  • Text messaging is the cellphone technology that allows users to send and receive written messages through their phones.
  • I even used birds to send my messages from here directly to Devlin.
Synonyms
1.1An official or formal communication, especially a speech delivered by a head of state to a legislative assembly or the public: the president’s message to Congress
More example sentences
  • I am here to deliver a very important message from the President.
  • They have delivered public and private messages urging the dictator to leave the country, so that disarmament can proceed peacefully.
  • Are you satisfied with the message the President delivered tonight and the way in which he delivered it?
1.2An email or similar electronic communication.
Example sentences
  • For example, when typing a mail message, or word processing the GPU can be throttled back to reduce component temperatures, and increase longevity.
  • It was so nice to see your website right after I received a spam mail message from Acme Online Systems!
  • The screen is captured and a new mail message launches in the default mail application.
1.3An electronic communication generated automatically by a computer program and displayed on a screen: an error message
More example sentences
  • Your browser will usually automatically generate a message when this occurs.
  • You can set it up to automatically generate e-mail messages when certain alert conditions are met such as running out of stock on an item.
  • Each piece of equipment in a computer network generates messages and events and errors - right?
1.4A significant point or central theme, especially one that has political, social, or moral importance: a campaign to get the message about home security across
More example sentences
  • Can videogames convey social and political messages and still be a lot of fun?
  • Most of that material, however, while interesting, is marginal to the political message of the film.
  • Acclaimed for using a popular format to pass on the social message, the film had used the soap opera look to cash in on a large audience.
Synonyms
point, thrust, gist, essence, content, subject (matter), substance, implication, drift, lesson
1.5A divinely inspired communication from a prophet or preacher.
Example sentences
  • Those who believed the message he preached became not only good people, but good citizens and then good leaders.
  • The recently urbanized underclasses are particularly susceptible to the messages of populist preachers.
  • The message entrusted to the preacher must be proclaimed just as it was first delivered.
1.6US A television or radio commercial: we will return after these messages
More example sentences
  • These will be reinforced with similar messages on radio and television.
  • Many have developed responsibility messages for television and radio.
  • Brown adds that A.E. uses radio and television messages to promote its refrigerated yogurt products.
2chiefly British An errand: all she did was make the tea and run messages

Origin

Middle English: from Old French, based on Latin missus, past participle of mittere 'send'.

More
  • The root of message is a form of Latin mittere ‘to send’ that is the source of Mass and missile as well as of messenger (Middle English) and demise (Late Middle English). The phrase to shoot (or kill) the messenger, ‘to treat the bearer of bad news as if they were personally to blame for it’, is recorded only from the 1960s, but breaking bad news has always been a thankless task. The idea occurs at least twice in Shakespeare—in Coriolanus there is reference to beating the messenger—and the ancient Greek dramatist Sophocles expressed it as ‘No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.’

Phrases

get the message

1
informal Infer an implication from a remark or action.
Example sentences
  • We get the message but to truly understand the idea, we need to dig a little deeper.
  • We, of course, had got the message that we were stupid and lazy.
  • It is sometimes very difficult to get the message across without them and planting trees is an easily understood method.
Synonyms
understand, get the point, comprehend

send a message

2
Make a significant statement, either implicitly or by one’s actions: the elections sent a message to political quarters that the party was riding a wave of popularity
More example sentences
  • An election might have sent a message to prospective tourists that life was continuing as normal outside certain designated areas.
  • He then sends a message of congratulations to the voter in the election, won by the Republican Party in a landslide.
  • Bell suggested that council needs to send a strong message to the government and send a message to the solicitor general.

Words that rhyme with message

presage

Definition of message in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure