• IPA: /ˈmiːnɪŋ/

meaning (plural meanings)

  1. (of words or symbols) The entity, perception, feeling or concept thereby represented or evoked.
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter VIII, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326 ↗:
      Elbows almost touching they leaned at ease, idly reading the almost obliterated lines engraved there. ¶ "I never understood it," she observed, lightly scornful. "What occult meaning has a sun-dial for the spooney? I'm sure I don't want to read riddles in a strange gentleman's optics."
  2. The value, purpose, importance, point or significance (of something beyond the fact of that thing's existence).
    the meaning of life
  3. (semantics) The object or concept that a word or phrase denotes, or that which a sentence says.
  4. (obsolete) Intention.
    • :
      It was their meaning to take what they needed by stronghand.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Verb
  1. present participle of mean#English|mean


  1. Having a (specified) intention.
  2. Expressing some intention or significance; meaningful.
    • 1839, Edgar Allan Poe, "William Wilson (short story)"
      I might, to-day, have been a better, and thus a happier man, had I less frequently rejected the counsels embodied in those meaning whispers which I then but too cordially hated and too bitterly despised.
    • 1978, Jane Gardam, God on the Rocks, Abacus 2014, p. 160:
      [T]he new friends […] knew nothing and did not particularly care to hear about the beautiful mother with her long, meaning looks and liquid dresses and distant smile.

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