Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Wikipedia has an article on:



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).


meaning ‎(plural meanings)

  1. The symbolic value of something.
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter VIII, The Younger Set:
      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.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From mean +‎ -ing.



  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.


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.