meaning

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English mening, menyng, equivalent to mean +‎ -ing. Cognate with Scots mening(intent, purpose, sense, meaning), West Frisian miening(opinion, mind), Dutch mening(view, opinion, judgement), German Meinung(opinion, view, mind, idea), Danish and Swedish mening(meaning, sense, sentence, opinion), Icelandic meining(meaning).

Noun[edit]

meaning ‎(plural meanings)

  1. The symbolic value of something.
    • 1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter VIII”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      Elbows almost touching they leaned at ease, idly reading the almost obliterated lines engraved there. ¶ "I never understood it," she observed, lightly scornful. "What occult meaning has a sun-dial for the spooney? I'm sure I don't want to read riddles in a strange gentleman's optics."
  2. The significance of a thing.
    the meaning of life
  3. (semantics) The objects or concept that a word or phrase denotes, or that which a sentence says.
  4. (obsolete) Intention.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir Walter Raleigh:
      It was their meaning to take what they needed by stronghand.
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, The Haunted House
      [] there was nothing in the house, what there was, was broken, the last people must have lived like pigs, what could the meaning of the landlord be?
Synonyms[edit]
Hyponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
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Etymology 2[edit]

From mean +‎ -ing.

Verb[edit]

meaning

  1. present participle of mean
    • 2013 July-August, Lee S. Langston, “The Adaptable Gas Turbine”, in American Scientist:
      Turbines have been around for a long time—windmills and water wheels are early examples. The name comes from the Latin turbo, meaning vortex, and thus the defining property of a turbine is that a fluid or gas turns the blades of a rotor, which is attached to a shaft that can perform useful work.

Adjective[edit]

meaning ‎(comparative more meaning, superlative most meaning)

  1. Having a (specified) intention.
  2. Expressing some intention or significance; meaningful.
    • 1839, Edgar Allan Poe, ‘William Wilson’:
      I might, to-day, have been a better, and thus a happier man, had I less frequently rejected the counsels embodied in those meaning whispers which I then but too cordially hated and too bitterly despised.
    • 1978, Jane Gardam, God on the Rocks, Abacus 2014, p. 160:
      [T]he new friends […] knew nothing and did not particularly care to hear about the beautiful mother with her long, meaning looks and liquid dresses and distant smile.

Anagrams[edit]