Definition of meaning in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmēniNG/


1What is meant by a word, text, concept, or action: the meaning of the word “supermarket it was as if time had lost all meaning
More example sentences
  • He was an intensely charismatic actor and conveyed the meanings of words as dramatically and sensitively as the music.
  • Possible meanings of words contribute to the meaning of an utterance, which is an act by a speaker.
  • The average reader does not need a glossary for the meanings of all such words, for they are clearly elicited in the context.
definition, sense, explanation, denotation, connotation, interpretation, nuance
1.1Implied or explicit significance: he gave me a look full of meaning
More example sentences
  • And this stylistic difference takes on significant meaning.
  • What had begun as an empty gesture became imbued with enormous significance and meaning; the thing that was killing him became a lifeline.
  • She just did not want to accept the full depth of meaning that lay in his pained green eyes.
significance, sense, signification, import, gist, thrust, drift, implication, tenor, message, essence, substance, purport, intention
expressiveness, significance, eloquence, implications, insinuations
1.2Important or worthwhile quality; purpose: this can lead to new meaning in the life of older people
More example sentences
  • They are connected spiritually through a sense of purpose and meaning for their lives.
  • Does our work provide us with a sense of purpose and meaning that goes beyond just making money?
  • The school emphasizes a broad education and the curriculum is designed to assist students in finding purpose and meaning in their learning.
value, validity, worth, consequence, account, use, usefulness, significance, point


Intended to communicate something that is not directly expressed: she gave Gabriel a meaning look


not know the meaning of the word

informal Behave as if unaware of the concept referred to or implied: “Humanity?” You don’t know the meaning of the word!
More example sentences
  • I'm sorry, Hannah, he doesn't know the meaning of the word.
  • Now, there's a man who doesn't know the meaning of the word ‘restraint.’
  • Rudy tells the story of a boy who doesn't know the meaning of the word ‘quit.’



Pronunciation: /ˈmēniNGlē/
Example sentences
  • ‘That's not too old for a,’ I coughed meaningly, ‘scandalous relationship.’
  • As Arley came back inside, Mike said meaningly to Satu, who nodded in response, ‘I think there's just one distraction right now that needs dealing with.’
  • ‘As long as they don't get caught,’ Jason told her meaningly.


Late Middle English: verbal noun from mean1.

Words that rhyme with meaning

greening, leaning, overweening, screening, spring-cleaning

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mean·ing

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