without meaning, significance, purpose, or value; purposeless; insignificant: a meaningless reply; a meaningless existence.

Origin of meaningless

First recorded in 1790–1800; meaning + -less
Related formsmean·ing·less·ly, adverbmean·ing·less·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for meaningless

Contemporary Examples of meaningless

Historical Examples of meaningless

  • I need not tell you that to me reformations in morals are as meaningless and vulgar as Reformations in theology.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • The metaphor might be meaningless; but it struck him it was strong.

  • The sobriquet had hitherto been a mere shadow, a meaningless thing, to me.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • The figures of the Light-year dials were meaningless to his comprehension.

    The World Beyond

    Raymond King Cummings

  • He had no mind to spend the day at her fireside in pleasant, meaningless talk.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for meaningless



futile or empty of meaning
Derived Formsmeaninglessly, adverbmeaninglessness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for meaningless

1730, from meaning + -less. Related: Meaninglessly; meaninglessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper