Definition of meaning noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈmiːnɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmiːnɪŋ//
    jump to other results
    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! Wordfinderalphabetical, definition, dictionary, entry, example, headword, meaning, part of speech, pronunciation, register Wordfinderconnotation, definition, dictionary, homonym, meaning, pronunciation, spelling, synonym, vocabulary, word
  2. of what somebody says/does
  3. 2  [uncountable, countable] the things or ideas that somebody 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.
  10. Word Originlate Middle English: verbal noun from mean (verb).Extra examples As parents, our lives acquired new meaning. Falling in love gave meaning to his life. For him, art held little intrinsic meaning. He explores the deeper cultural meaning of ‘home’. He found spiritual meaning through religion. Her work no longer had any meaning for her. Historians are trying to decipher the meaning of the documents. I am using the word with its original meaning. I can’t grasp the meaning of this quotation. I think you misunderstood my meaning. I’m sure there’s no hidden meaning in what he says. It is difficult for a non-Italian to grasp all the nuances of meaning. She assigns a meaning to his words they just didn’t have. She’s searching for the deeper meaning of life. Some of the symbols carry meaning and some just represent sounds. That night redefined the meaning of the word ‘love’ to him. The context largely determines the meaning. The context makes the meaning clear. The copy editor uses her skill to clarify the meaning. The movie ends with scenes that are supposed to leave us pondering its meaning. The word ‘gay’ took on its modern meaning in the 1960s. There’s often a double meaning in jokes and riddles. These translation errors alter the meaning of the sentence. What is the exact meaning of this phrase? You can’t sit around contemplating the meaning of life all day. Young people can feel that life is without meaning. a word that has more than one meaning ambiguity in the meaning of a phrase the meaning behind an event I don’t quite get your meaning. The text manages to convey multiple layers of meaning. What’s the meaning of this? I explicitly told you not to leave the room.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: meaning