What word or phrase does your mother always say?


[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
  • But no one knows whether this indicates a trend or is simply a meaningless random clustering.
  • They find meaning in something once meaningless, and suddenly we're all connected.
  • It seemed to her that the world was full of meaningless people saying words.
  • For in any private library, the totality of books is meaningful, while each individual volume is relatively meaningless.
  • Bizarre oddities, which complicate the puzzle but are meaningless in themselves, flash by in an instant.
  • In the trees outside, a nation of birds had replaced the bats and were now atwitter in a paroxysm of meaningless life.
  • It doesn't really advance, which means that planning for future action is meaningless.
  • Laser-printed uniformity has become meaningless because it can be achieved so cheaply.
  • Some are tempted to think of life in cyberspace as insignificant, as escape or meaningless diversion.
  • When a currency becomes meaningless, business is done in barter.
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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