[ mes-ij ]
See synonyms for message on
  1. a communication containing some information, news, advice, request, or the like, sent by messenger, telephone, email, or other means.

  2. an official communication, as from a chief executive to a legislative body: the president's message to Congress.

  1. Digital Technology. a post or reply on an online message board.

  2. the inspired utterance of a prophet or sage.

  3. the point, moral, or meaning of a gesture, utterance, novel, motion picture, etc.

  4. Computers. a warning, permission, etc., communicated by the system or software to the user: an error message;a message to allow blocked content.

verb (used without object)
  1. to send a message, especially an electronic message.

verb (used with object)
  1. to send (a person) a message.

  2. to send as a message.

Idioms about message

  1. get the message, Informal. to understand or comprehend, especially to infer the correct meaning from circumstances, hints, etc.: If we don't invite him to the party, maybe he'll get the message.

Origin of message

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin missāticum (unrecorded), equivalent to Latin miss(us) “sent” (past participle of mittere “to send”) + -āticum -age

Other words from message

  • in·ter·mes·sage, noun, adjective

Words that may be confused with message

Words Nearby message Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use message in a sentence

  • His head fell back limp on MacRae's arm, and the rest of the message went with the game old Dutchman across the big divide.

    Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • We were interrupted at this moment by a message from General Houston, to whom we immediately hastened.

  • "It will go through, if I live," calmly replied Harry, as he carefully concealed the message in the lining of his coat.

  • In the telegraph office a young signaler was sending a thrilling message to Umballa, Lahore and the north.

    The Red Year | Louis Tracy
  • Aristide again sought the message of the stars; but the sky was clouded over, and soon a fine rain began to fall.

British Dictionary definitions for message


/ (ˈmɛsɪdʒ) /

  1. a communication, usually brief, from one person or group to another

  2. an implicit meaning or moral, as in a work of art

  1. a formal communiqué

  2. an inspired communication of a prophet or religious leader

  3. a mission; errand

  4. (plural) Scot shopping: going for the messages

  5. get the message informal to understand what is meant

  1. (tr) to send as a message, esp to signal (a plan, etc)

Origin of message

C13: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin missāticum (unattested) something sent, from Latin missus, past participle of mittere to send

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with message


see get the message.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.