- The definition of meaning is what is intended to be, referred to or understood.
An example of meaning is someone explaining the intention behind what they said.
- what is meant; what is intended to be, or in fact is, signified, indicated, referred to, or understood; signification, purport, import, sense, or significance: the meaning of a word
- Archaic intention; purpose
- that has meaning; significant; expressive
- intending; having purpose
- a. The denotation, referent, or idea associated with a word or phrase: How many meanings does the word “dog” have?b. Something that is conveyed or intended, especially by language; sense or significance: The writer's meaning was obscured by convoluted prose.
- An interpreted goal, intent, or end: “The central meaning of his pontificate is to restore papal authority” (Conor Cruise O'Brien).
- A sense of importance or purpose: When he became a teacher, he felt that his life had meaning.
- Disposed or intended in a specified manner. Often used in combination: a well-meaning fellow; ill-meaning intentions.
- Full of meaning; expressive: gave me a meaning look.
From Middle English mening, menyng, equivalent to mean + -ing. Cognate with Scots mening (“intent, purpose, sense, meaning”), West Frisian miening (“opinion, mind”), Dutch mening (“view, opinion, judgement”), German Meinung (“opinion, view, mind, idea”), Danish and Swedish mening (“meaning, sense, sentence, opinion”), Icelandic meining (“meaning”).
- Present participle of mean.
Variant of mean
transitive verbmeant , meaning
- to have in mind; intend; purpose: he means to go
- to intend or design for a certain person or purpose: a gift meant for you
- to destine or seem to destine: he was meant to be a doctor
- to intend to express, signify, or indicate: to say what one means
- to be used to convey; denote: the German word “ja” means “yes”
- to be a sign, indication, or herald of; signify: this means war!
Origin of meanMiddle English menen ; from Old English mænan, to mean, tell, complain, akin to German meinen, to have in mind, have as opinion ; from Indo-European base an unverified form meino-, opinion, intent from source Old Irish mian, wish, desire
- to have a purpose or intention in mind: chiefly in , to have good intentions
- to have a (specified) degree of importance, effect, or influence: honors mean little to him
mean well by