Definition of meditate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmɛdɪteɪt/


[no object]
1Focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation: I set aside time every day to write and meditate it was here that the monk spent much of the day reading and meditating on Scripture
More example sentences
  • As Howard meditated in silence, his mind cleared and his self-centered thoughts faded away.
  • Virtually anyone can meditate and focus; awareness and relaxation improve with practice.
  • The gentle spin of the wheel is supposed to concentrate the mind in order to meditate.
1.1 (meditate on/upon) Think deeply about (something): he went off to meditate on the new idea
More example sentences
  • He meditates on history, ponders sea life, ruminates on the land-water divide, and marvels at public housing, great bridges and giant electrical plants.
  • He has chosen wisely and well, inviting us to reflect and meditate on his selections.
  • Toward that end one resolves to listen to, reflect upon, and meditate on the teachings energetically.
contemplate, think about, consider, ponder, cogitate, muse;
revolve, weigh up;
reflect, deliberate, chew over, ruminate, chew the cud, digest, turn over, pore over, brood, mull over;
engage in contemplation, be in a thoughtful state, be in a brown study, be lost in thought, debate with oneself, puzzle, speculate;
have in mind, intend, purpose, propose, plan, project, design, devise, scheme, plot
informal put on one's thinking cap
rare cerebrate
1.2 [with object] Plan mentally; consider: they had suffered severely, and they began to meditate retreat
More example sentences
  • He was standing before the security guard, watching her contemplatively, as if he was meditating the meaning of a particularly meaningful painting.
  • And yet, turning in my trap, I saw her lingering before the door, very still, and as if meditating a flight up the miry road.



Example sentences
  • The facility will have accommodations for 30 meditators, who may spend anywhere from a few months to a few years in silent retreat.
  • Buddhist texts stated that meditators should be able to use concentration to enter and stay in several different altered states, and should know when they were in them and when not in them.
  • But meditators expect to spend years developing their skill.


Mid 16th century: from Latin meditat- 'contemplated', from the verb meditari, from a base meaning 'measure'; related to mete1.

  • meat from Old English:

    Meat is related to mete (Old English), an old word meaning ‘to measure’, and mate (Late Middle English) through the idea of a mate being someone you share food with. It goes back to an ancient root shared with meditate (late 16th century). The earliest sense of meat was simply ‘food’. This survives in the proverb one man's meat is another man's poison, which is recorded in English from the late 16th century but has a parallel in the work of the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius of the 1st century bc. Other early meanings include ‘an item of food’, now found only in sweetmeat (Late Middle English). See also flesh

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: medi|tate

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