Meaning is what a word, action, or concept is all about — its purpose, significance, or definition. If you want to learn the meaning of the word meaning, you just need to look it up in the dictionary.

Meaning represents something’s intent or purpose. That something can be a book, a conversation, a television show, or life itself (as in, “the meaning of life”). When you read a poem, you try to figure out the author’s intended meaning by interpreting the words he has chosen. For example, if a poet describes love as “a prison,” you might interpret the meaning as his feeling confined by his love.

Definitions of meaning
  1. noun

    the message that is intended or expressed or signified

    “what is the
    meaning of this sentence”
    import, significance, signification
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    lexical meaning

    the meaning of a content word that depends on the nonlinguistic concepts it is used to express
    grammatical meaning

    the meaning of a word that depends on its role in a sentence; varies with inflectional form
    symbolisation, symbolization

    the use of symbols to convey meaning
    sense, signified

    the meaning of a word or expression; the way in which a word or expression or situation can be interpreted
    connotation, intension

    what you must know in order to determine the reference of an expression

    something referred to; the object of a reference
    burden, core, effect, essence, gist

    the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
    intent, purport, spirit

    the intended meaning of a communication
    lesson, moral

    the significance of a story or event
    nicety, nuance, refinement, shade, subtlety

    a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude

    (usually plural) an ulterior implicit meaning or quality

    a brief version of the essential meaning of something
    acceptation, word meaning, word sense

    the accepted meaning of a word

    the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is referred to by an anaphoric pronoun

    an actual object referred to by a linguistic expression

    something (whether existing or not) that is referred to by a linguistic expression
    bottom line

    the decisive point
    crux, crux of the matter

    the most important point
    rallying point

    a point or principle on which scattered or opposing groups can come together
    talking point

    an especially persuasive point helping to support an argument or discussion
    type of:

    content, message, subject matter, substance

    what a communication that is about something is about

  2. noun

    the idea that is intended

    “What is the
    meaning of this proverb?”
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    the meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text
    implication, import, significance, subtext

    a meaning that is not expressly stated but can be inferred
    strain, tenor

    the general meaning or substance of an utterance
    undercurrent, undertone

    a subdued emotional quality underlying an utterance; implicit meaning
    denotation, extension, reference

    the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression; the class of objects that an expression refers to

    the relation between a word or phrase and the object or idea it refers to

    an idea that is implied or suggested
    drift, purport

    the pervading meaning or tenor
    type of:

    idea, thought

    the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about

  3. adjective

    rich in significance or implication

    meaning look”
    pregnant, significant


    having a meaning or purpose

Word Family