[med-i-tey-shuh n]


the act of meditating.
continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation.
devout religious contemplation or spiritual introspection.

Origin of meditation

1175–1225; < Latin meditātiōn- (stem of meditātiō) a thinking over (see meditate, -ion); replacing Middle English meditacioun < Anglo-French < Latin, as above Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for meditation

Contemporary Examples of meditation

Historical Examples of meditation

  • Her eyes were downcast--looking upon the waxed floor as if in meditation.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • She ate her dinner slowly, with meditation and a thankful heart.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • It was to me a soothing and a gratifying scene of meditation.

  • For a moment he seemed lost in meditation, and then at last spoke slowly.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

  • I would spend long hours upon my knees in prayer and meditation.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for meditation



the act of meditating; contemplation; reflection
contemplation of spiritual matters, esp as a religious practice
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 meditation

c.1200, "contemplation; devout preoccupation; devotions, prayer," from Old French meditacion "thought, reflection, study," and directly from Latin meditationem (nominative meditatio) "a thinking over, meditation," noun of action from past participle stem of meditari "to meditate, think over, reflect, consider," frequentative form from PIE root *med- "to measure, limit, consider, advise, take appropriate measures" (cf. Greek medesthai "think about," medon "ruler;" Latin modus "measure, manner," modestus "moderate," modernus "modern," mederi "to heal," medicus "physician;" Sanskrit midiur "I judge, estimate;" Welsh meddwl "mind, thinking;" Gothic miton, Old English metan "to measure;" also see medical).

Meaning "discourse on a subject" is early 14c.; meaning "act of meditating, continuous calm thought upon some subject" is from late 14c. The Latin verb also had stronger senses: "plan, devise, practice, rehearse, study."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper