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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 meaninglessness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This trick of repetition reaches the climax of meaninglessness in "The Ways of the Hour."

    James Fenimore Cooper Thomas R. Lounsbury
  • Leilah heard what to her was the meaninglessness of technical terms.

    The Monster Edgar Saltus
  • It was the meaninglessness that seemed to leap out upon me wherever I turned my eyes.

    The Blue Germ Martin Swayne
  • Bojo attempted to burst in on the stream of meaninglessness and repeated phrases.

    Making Money Owen Johnson
  • It was distress of soul which made her wince now and then; it was wrung by the emptiness and meaninglessness of her existence.

    Ditte: Girl Alive! Martin Andersen Nexo
British Dictionary definitions for meaninglessness


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 meaninglessness



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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