Meaning of “message” in the English Dictionary

"message" in British English

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messagenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈmes.ɪdʒ/ us /ˈmes.ɪdʒ/

message noun [ C ] (INFORMATION)

A1 a short piece of information that you give to a person when you cannot speak to them directly:

If I'm not there when you call, leave a message.
[ + that ] I got a message that she'll be late.

More examples

  • She wasn't in so I left a message on her answerphone.
  • Can you give Jo a message for me? Tell her I've booked a tennis court for 6.30.
  • When I got home, I found a mysterious message sellotaped to the front door.
  • The president has sent a message of sympathy to the relatives of the dead soldiers.
  • The message on the card said 'Be my Valentine'.

message noun [ C ] (IDEA)

B2 the most important idea in a book, film, or play, or an idea that you want to tell people about:

The movie's message is that rich and poor are alike.
We need to send a clear message that pollution will not be tolerated.
get the message informal

to understand what someone is trying to tell you, even if that person is not expressing himself or herself directly:

I never answer his calls, so you'd think he'd get the message.
get the message across

to make someone understand:

We need to get the message across that too much sun is dangerous.

More examples

  • This is the message that we want to get across to the public.
  • The party's electoral message may be obscured by the glitz and glamour of its presentation.
  • The Gospel message is one of personal salvation.
  • The government's message about the dangers of smoking seems to have struck home.
  • The underlying message of the movie is that love transcends everything else.

messageverb [ T ]

uk /ˈmes.ɪdʒ/ us /ˈmes.ɪdʒ/
messaging
noun [ U ] /ˈmes.ɪ.dʒɪŋ/ /ˈmes.ɪ.dʒɪŋ/

Instant messaging alerts users when their friends are online.

(Definition of “message” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"message" in American English

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messagenoun [ C ]

us /ˈmes·ɪdʒ/

message noun [ C ] (INFORMATION)

a short piece of written or spoken information that is given or sent to someone:

If I’m not there when you phone, leave a message.
She’s not here – can I take a message?

message noun [ C ] (IDEA)

the main idea that an artist, writer, speaker, or group is trying to communicate:

The message of the movie seems to be that only the most ruthless people can get ahead in politics.

(Definition of “message” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"message" in Business English

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messagenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈmesɪdʒ/ us

COMMUNICATIONS a short piece of information that you give or send to a person when you cannot speak to them directly:

message from sb for sb There was a message for you from the catering company.
message that I got your message that the meeting was postponed.
leave a message If I'm not there when you phone, leave a message on my voicemail.
take a message She's not here now; can I take a message?
send sb a message He sent me several messages about the problem.
I had a message in my inbox.

IT a piece of information that appears on a computer screen:

I kept getting a message saying "Disable cookies".

MARKETING the main idea in an advertisement, speech, etc., or something that you want to tell people:

The ad's main message should be that our products are safe to use.
send a message Ridding the organization of poor performers also sends a strong message of low tolerance for poor results.

US an advertisement on television or radio:

We'll be back right after these messages.

messageverb [ T ]

uk /ˈmesɪdʒ/ us

COMMUNICATIONS to send someone a message using electronic equipment:

Not many people use the facility of viewing streaming video of the person they are messaging.

(Definition of “message” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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