meaning noun

1 what sth means

ADJ. clear, exact, precise The context makes the meaning clear. What is the exact meaning of this phrase? | correct, true | original | double, hidden There's often a double meaning in jokes and riddles. I'm sure there's no hidden meaning in what he says. | figurative, metaphorical, symbolic | literal

VERB + MEANING get, grasp, understand I can't grasp the meaning of this quotation. | decipher, interpret, work out Historians are trying to decipher the meaning of the documents. | assign, attribute She assigns a meaning to his words they just didn't have. | bear, carry, have Some of the symbols carry meaning and some just represent sounds. a word that has more than one meaning | take on The word ‘gay’ took on its modern meaning in the 1960s. | communicate, convey, express

PREP. in a/the ~ ambiguity in the meaning of a phrase | with a/the ~ I am using the word with its original meaning. | ~ behind the meaning behind an event

PHRASES a nuance/shade of meaning It is difficult for a non-Italian to grasp all the nuances of meaning.

2 purpose/importance

ADJ. deep, real, true She's searching for the deeper meaning of life. | spiritual He found spiritual meaning through religion.

VERB + MEANING have Her work no longer had any meaning for her. | find | lose After his death, she felt life had lost all meaning. | give sth Falling in love gave meaning to his life.

PREP. without ~ Young people can feel that life is without meaning.