- 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 +â€Ž -ing. Cognate with Scots mening (â€œintent, purpose, sense, meaningâ€), West Frisian miening (â€œopinion, mindâ€), Dutch mening (â€œview, opinion, judgementâ€), German Meinung (â€œopinion, view, mind, ideaâ€), Danish and Swedish mening (â€œmeaning, sense, sentence, opinionâ€), Icelandic meining (â€œmeaningâ€).
- 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