1. a system or process of transmitting messages, especially electronically, by computer, telephone, television cable, etc.


  1. a communication containing some information, news, advice, request, or the like, sent by messenger, telephone, email, or other means.
  2. an official communication, as from a chief executive to a legislative body: the president’s message to Congress.
  3. Digital Technology. a post or reply on an online message board.
  4. the inspired utterance of a prophet or sage.
  5. the point, moral, or meaning of a gesture, utterance, novel, motion picture, etc.
  6. 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)

  1. to send a message, especially an electronic message.

verb (used with object)

  1. to send (a person) a message.
  2. to send as a message.


  1. 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.


  1. the practice of sending and receiving written communications by computer or mobile phone


  1. a communication, usually brief, from one person or group to another
  2. an implicit meaning or moral, as in a work of art
  3. a formal communiqué
  4. an inspired communication of a prophet or religious leader
  5. a mission; errand
  6. (plural) Scot shoppinggoing for the messages
  7. get the message informal to understand what is meant


  1. (tr) to send as a message, esp to signal (a plan, etc)

n.1865, verbal noun from message (v.). n.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. v.“to send messages,” 1580s, from message (n.). Related: Messaged; messaging. see get the message.

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