- what is intended to be, or actually is, expressed or indicated; signification; import: the three meanings of a word.
- the end, purpose, or significance of something: What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of this intrusion?
- the nonlinguistic cultural correlate, reference, or denotation of a linguistic form; expression.
- linguistic content (opposed to expression).
- intentioned (usually used in combination): She's a well-meaning person.
- full of significance; expressive: a meaning look.
Origin of meaning
SynonymsSee more synonyms for meaning on Thesaurus.com
1. tenor, gist, drift, trend. Meaning, purport, sense, significance denote that which is expressed or indicated by something. Meaning is the general word denoting that which is intended to be or actually is expressed or indicated: the meaning of a word or glance. Sense may be used to denote a particular meaning (among others) of a word or phrase: The word is frequently used in this sense. Sense may also be used loosely to refer to intelligible meaning: There's no sense in what he says. Significance refers particularly to a meaning that is implied rather than expressed: the significance of her glance; or to a meaning the importance of which may not be easy to perceive immediately: The real significance of his words was not grasped at the time. Purport is mainly limited to the meaning of a formal document, speech, important conversation, etc., and refers to the gist of something fairly complicated: the purport of your letter to the editor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for under-meaning
The two words were simple, but she thought they had an under-meaning, as though he were mocking either himself or her, or both.Olive
Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)
I answered, but half noting the under-meaning of her words, my mind running on deck state-rooms and the like.On the Church Steps
Sarah C. Hallowell
There is not a sentence nor a rhyme, sung or uttered by Ariel or Caliban, throughout the play, which has not this under-meaning.Time and Tide by Weare and Tyne
The under-meaning, the terrible regret for irrevocable ill, naturally escaped him.Six Women
- the sense or significance of a word, sentence, symbol, etc; import; semantic or lexical content
- the purpose underlying or intended by speech, action, etc
- the inner, symbolic, or true interpretation, value, or messagethe meaning of a dream
- valid content; efficacya law with little or no meaning
- the sense of an expression; its connotation
- the reference of an expression; its denotation. In recent philosophical writings meaning can be used in both the above sensesSee also sense (def. 12)
- expressive of some sense, intention, criticism, etca meaning look
See also well-meaning
Word Origin and History for under-meaning
"sense, import, intent," c.1300, from mean (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper