Meaning Definition: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

Chances are you’re familiar with the word “meaning,” but do you know its definition? This article has everything you need to know.

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The word “meaning” is one that’s used in daily conversation, but do you know its definition? In other words, do you know what “meaning” means? Not to worry — we’re here to help!

In this post, we’re exploring one of the world’s most frequently used terms to uncover its definition, origin, translations, as well as a few ways to use it in a sentence. So if you’ve ever wondered about the word “meaning,” — keep reading. 

What Is the Definition of Meaning?

Simply put, the word “meaning” explains what a certain word or concept implies. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as what’s meant by a word, concept, text, or action. It can also be defined as the idea that is represented by a word or phrase. 

So, in short, our word of the day can refer to both the implicit and explicit significance of a word or concept. 

What Is the Meaning of the Term “Meaning” in Philosophy?

In philosophy, semantics, metasemantics, and metaphysics, the word “meaning” can be defined as a relationship between two sorts of things. It’s the message conveyed by words, sentences, and symbols. 

What Is the Origin of Meaning?

Where does the word meaning come from? This term originates from the Old English, “to tell of.”

Other words that have come from the word “meaning” include:

  • Mean·ing·ly — adverb
  • Mean·ing·ness — noun
  • Sub·mean·ing — noun
  • Un·der·mean·ing — noun

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Meaning?

Now that you’re up to speed on the definition behind “meaning,” let’s pop open a thesaurus to take a look at a few synonyms and antonyms, shall we?

In case you forgot, a synonym is a word that has the same or nearly the same meaning as another word. On the flip side, an antonym is a word of the opposite meaning. 

Synonyms of meaning include:

  • Definition
  • Sense
  • Explanation
  • Denotation
  • Connotation 
  • Elucidation
  • Explication
  • Meaningful
  • Significant
  • Signification
  • Pointed
  • Eloquent 
  • Expressive
  • Pregnant
  • Telltale
  • Revealing
  • Suggestive
  • Message
  • Purport

Antonyms of meaning include:

  • Vacant
  • Empty
  • Meaningless
  • Exterior
  • Exteriority
  • Outside

What’s the Difference Between “Meaning” and “Definition”?

Although the word definition is a synonym of meaning, it does have a slight variance from its true dictionary definition. Simply put, the term “definition” can be defined as the statement of the exact meaning of a word — especially when provided from a dictionary. 

On the other hand, our word of the day (meaning) explains a word, concept, or phrase in a very general sense. The meaning of a word or phrase may have a more in-depth explanation, whereas the definition of a word is more straightforward. 

This is the primary difference between the two terms. That said, both “meaning” and “definition” describe what a particular concept means and can help a person understand what is inferred by a word or phrase. 

How Can You Use It in a Sentence?

By now, you likely know that the word meaning is the idea represented by a word, concept, phrase, etc. — but how do you use it in a sentence? Here are a few example sentences for your reference: 

“Many philosophers often spend their days pondering the meaning of life.”

“Any idea what the meaning is of the random house they built next to the supermarket?”

“Do you know the meaning of the word denotation?”

“If you’re anything like me, you love to research the meaning of each stone that you find as you stroll through the park.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand the meaning of your email.”

“In philosophy, the word meaning is just the sense of an expression or its connotation.”

“Did you know that word can have many different meanings?”

“If you’re starting on a quest to discover the meaning of life, you may want to bring snacks because you have a long journey ahead of you!”

“Have you ever wondered if there is a meaning to existence?”

“Look, the meaning is unknown to me, so you’re going to have to find the definition in a dictionary.”

“I was pulled over this morning meaning I was very late to work.”

“When searching for the true meaning of a word, it’s a good idea to read a dictionary.”

“Do you know where the English dictionary is? I need to look up the meaning of a word.”

“The meaning of a sentence can sometimes be dependent on intonation.”

“In the English language, we have many idioms that have confusing meanings so be prepared to open up a dictionary.” 

What Are the Translations of Meaning?

There are a number of ways that you can say the word “meaning.” Here are some of the most common translations found around the world:

  • American English: meaning /ˈminɪŋ/
  • Arabic: مَعْنَى 
  • Brazilian Portuguese: significado 
  • Chinese: 含意 
  • Croatian: značenje 
  • Czech: význam 
  • Danish: betydning 
  • Dutch: betekenis bedoeling
  • European Spanish: significado 
  • Finnish: merkitys 
  • French: signification sens
  • German: Bedeutung 
  • Greek: σημασία έννοια
  • Italian: significato 
  • Japanese: 意味 
  • Korean: 뜻 
  • Norwegian: betydning 
  • Polish: znaczenie  sens
  • European Portuguese: significado 
  • Romanian: sens
  • Russian: значение 
  • Spanish: significado 
  • Swedish: betydelse 
  • Thai: ความหมาย 
  • Turkish: anlam 
  • Ukrainian: значення
  • Vietnamese: ý nghĩa 


So, what does the word “meaning” mean, you ask? 

Simply put, meaning is what a word, concept, or action is all about — its purpose, intent, or significance. In other words, the “meaning” of something is what it represents or expresses. 

Interested in learning more new words? Head on over to our website where you’ll discover a ton of fascinating words and their definitions. Whether you’re looking to make sense of a trendy slang word or simply on the hunt for grammar tools, tips and definitions, you can always count on us to have just what you need.


  1. Meaning definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. Meaning_1 noun – Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary at Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries