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[mee-ning-lis] /ˈmi nɪŋ lɪs/
without meaning, significance, purpose, or value; purposeless; insignificant:
a meaningless reply; a meaningless existence.
Origin of meaningless
1790-1800; meaning + -less
Related forms
meaninglessly, adverb
meaninglessness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for meaningless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Page 47—Ikuta means the living field, or field of life, and as she is about to die the name is meaningless to her.

    Plays of Old Japan Marie C. Stopes
  • Worst of all, he knew that any decision of his was meaningless.

    The Golden Judge Nathaniel Gordon
  • The consequences they forecast follow only from a distorted, and often meaningless, use of the terms employed.

  • The two breathed again, and began to hope that their fears had been meaningless.

  • A writer on the subject of slang has given us two good examples of meaningless and expressive slang.

    Stories That Words Tell Us Elizabeth O'Neill
British Dictionary definitions for meaningless


futile or empty of meaning
Derived Forms
meaninglessly, adverb
meaninglessness, 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
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Word Origin and History for meaningless

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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