Meaning is what a word, action, or concept is all about — its purpose, significance, or definition. If you want to learn the meaning of the word meaning, you just need to look it up in the dictionary.

Meaning represents something's intent or purpose. That something can be a book, a conversation, a television show, or life itself (as in, "the meaning of life"). When you read a poem, you try to figure out the author's intended meaning by interpreting the words he has chosen. For example, if a poet describes love as "a prison," you might interpret the meaning as his feeling confined by his love.

Definitions of meaning

n the message that is intended or expressed or signified

“what is the meaning of this sentence”
import, significance, signification
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lexical meaning
the meaning of a content word that depends on the nonlinguistic concepts it is used to express
grammatical meaning
the meaning of a word that depends on its role in a sentence; varies with inflectional form
symbolisation, symbolization
the use of symbols to convey meaning
sense, signified
the meaning of a word or expression; the way in which a word or expression or situation can be interpreted
connotation, intension
what you must know in order to determine the reference of an expression
something referred to; the object of a reference
burden, core, effect, essence, gist
the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
intent, purport, spirit
the intended meaning of a communication
lesson, moral
the significance of a story or event
nicety, nuance, refinement, shade, subtlety
a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude
(usually plural) an ulterior implicit meaning or quality
a brief version of the essential meaning of something
acceptation, word meaning, word sense
the accepted meaning of a word
the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is referred to by an anaphoric pronoun
an actual object referred to by a linguistic expression
something (whether existing or not) that is referred to by a linguistic expression
bottom line
the decisive point
crux, crux of the matter
the most important point
rallying point
a point or principle on which scattered or opposing groups can come together
talking point
an especially persuasive point helping to support an argument or discussion
Type of:
content, message, subject matter, substance
what a communication that is about something is about

n the idea that is intended

“What is the meaning of this proverb?”
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the meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text
implication, import, significance
a meaning that is not expressly stated but can be inferred
strain, tenor
the general meaning or substance of an utterance
undercurrent, undertone
a subdued emotional quality underlying an utterance; implicit meaning
denotation, extension, reference
the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression; the class of objects that an expression refers to
the relation between a word or phrase and the object or idea it refers to
an idea that is implied or suggested
drift, purport
the pervading meaning or tenor
Type of:
idea, thought
the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about

adj rich in significance or implication

“a meaning look”
pregnant, significant
having a meaning or purpose

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