American English

Definition of meaning noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    of sound/word/sign
  1. 1[uncountable, countable] meaning (of something) the thing or idea that a sound, word, sign, etc. represents What's the meaning of this word? Words often have several meanings. “Honesty?” He doesn't know the meaning of the word!
  2. of what someone says/does
  3. 2[uncountable, countable] the things or ideas that someone wishes to communicate to you by what they say or do I don't quite get your meaning (= understand what you mean to say). What's the meaning of this? I explicitly told you not to leave the room.
  4. of feeling/experience
  5. 3[uncountable] the real importance of a feeling or experience With Anna he learned the meaning of love.
  6. of book/painting
  7. 4[uncountable, countable] the ideas that a writer, artist, etc. wishes to communicate through a book, painting, etc. several layers of meaning There are, of course, deeper meanings in the poem.
  8. sense of purpose
  9. 5[uncountable] the quality or sense of purpose that makes you feel that your life is valuable Her life seemed to have lost all meaning. Having a child gave new meaning to their lives.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: meaning