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[mes-ij] /ˈmɛs ɪdʒ/
a communication containing some information, news, advice, request, or the like, sent by messenger, telephone, email, or other means.
an official communication, as from a chief executive to a legislative body:
the president's message to Congress.
Digital Technology. a post or reply on an online message board.
the inspired utterance of a prophet or sage.
the point, moral, or meaning of a gesture, utterance, novel, motion picture, etc.
Computers. a warning, permission, etc., communicated by the system or software to the user:
an error message; a message to allow blocked content.
verb (used without object)
to send a message, especially an electronic message.
verb (used with object)
to send (a person) a message.
to send as a message.
get the message, Informal. to understand or comprehend, especially to infer the correct meaning from circumstances, hints, etc.:
If we don't invite him to the party, maybe he'll get the message.
Origin of message
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French < Vulgar Latin *missāticum, equivalent to Latin miss(us) sent (past participle of mittere to send) + -āticum -age
Related forms
intermessage, noun, adjective
Can be confused
massage, message. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for message
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Even when the hour for starting arrived, there was no Anthony, no message from Anthony.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • Do you know who sent little George with a message to my sister just now?

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • She died forgiving her betrayer, and sending a message to that effect by me.

    Doom Castle Neil Munro
  • "That's the third time we've had this sort of message," he said.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • Mason thrust the message in his pocket, musing as he did so.

    Mason of Bar X Ranch Henry Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for message


a communication, usually brief, from one person or group to another
an implicit meaning or moral, as in a work of art
a formal communiqué
an inspired communication of a prophet or religious leader
a mission; errand
(pl) (Scot) shopping: going for the messages
(informal) get the message, to understand what is meant
(transitive) to send as a message, esp to signal (a plan, etc)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Vulgar Latin missāticum (unattested) something sent, from Latin missus, past participle of mittere to send
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 message

c.1300, "communication transmitted via a messenger," from Old French message "message, news, tidings, embassy" (11c.), from Medieval Latin missaticum, from Latin missus "a sending away, sending, despatching; a throwing, hurling," noun use of past participle of mittere "to send" (see mission). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by ærende. Specific religious sense of "divinely inspired communication via a prophet" (1540s) led to transferred sense of "the broad meaning (of something)," first attested 1828. To get the message "understand" is from 1960.


"to send messages," 1580s, from message (n.). Related: Messaged; messaging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for message



To send a message on the Internet •The sense ''to send a message'' is found by 1583: '' I need to do it,'' Baker messaged a man with whom he had been discussing rape, torture, and murder (1990s+ Computer)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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message in Technology

In object-oriented programming sending a message to an object (to invoke a method) is equivalent to calling a procedure in traditional programming languages, except that the actual code executed may only be selected at run time depending on the class of the object. Thus, in response to the message "drawSelf", the method code invoked would be different if the target object were a circle or a square.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Idioms and Phrases with message


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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