Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

not know the meaning of the word

To be completely without the particular quality, trait, or characteristic that is being described. Integrity? Hah! John doesn't know the meaning of the word! Oh please, Janet, you don't know the meaning of the word poor.
See also: know, meaning, not, of, word

mean well

To have good intentions. The phrase implies that despite such intentions, one is inept, unhelpful, or a nuisance. Gerri means well, but honestly she usually just ends up getting in the way when we're trying to do work.
See also: mean, well

mean well

to intend to be nice, polite, helpful, etc., but fail in the effort. I know you mean well, but your comments are sort of insulting.
See also: mean, well

take on a new significance

 and take on a new meaning
[for an event] to acquire a new interpretation; [for something] to become more meaningful or more significant. All these monuments take on a new meaning when you realize the amount of human artistry and skill it took to design and build them.
See also: new, on, significance, take

not know the meaning of the word

If you mention a word and say that someone doesn't know the meaning of the word, you mean that they do not have a particular quality or have never done or experienced a particular thing. Love? He doesn't know the meaning of the word! Ruthie was an optimist; she didn't even know the meaning of the word depression. Note: Nouns such as phrase and term are sometimes used instead of word. Patrick doesn't know the meaning of the phrase `speed limit'.
See also: know, meaning, not, of, word

not know the meaning of the word

behave as if unaware of the concept referred to or implied. informal
See also: know, meaning, not, of, word

not know the ˈmeaning of the word

(disapproving) not have enough experience of something to understand what it really is; not be capable of really understanding something: Love? He doesn’t know the meaning of the word.They talk about justice, but they don’t know the meaning of the word.
See also: know, meaning, not, of, word

ˈmean well

(usually disapproving) have good intentions, although their effect may not be good: Your father means well, I know, but I wish he’d stop telling us what to do.She’s always suggesting ways I could improve my cooking. I know she means well but it really annoys me. ▶ ˌwell-ˈmeaning adj.: She’s very well-meaning, but she only makes the situation worse.
See also: mean, well

get somebody’s ˈmeaning

(informal) understand what somebody is really saying: I get your meaning. You don’t need to say any more.
See also: get, meaning
References in classic literature ?
But mainly, think of the exasperation of never knowing which of these meanings the speaker is trying to convey.
That shows that the SOUND of the words is correct--it interprets the meanings with truth and with exactness; and so the ear is informed, and through the ear, the heart.
Yes, yes, yes," signed the paralytic, casting on Valentine a look of joyful gratitude for having guessed his meaning.
Excuse me, sir," replied the notary; "on the contrary, the meaning of M.
The same pronunciation in Hebrew, usually Romanized as torah, has the basic meaning of "Law", and is often used to mean the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible (often referred to as "The Five Books of Moses").
Spinks seeks to advance conversations in the field of the theological interpretation of Scripture (TIS) by offering a holistic notion of meaning and, in that light, by reconceiving the task of TIS.
Implicit theories, attributions and coping: a meaning system approach.
At first glance, the meaning of "homosexuals and sodomites" seems rather clear.
This is how they were meant to be read--and re-read--with thought and reflection that allow the poems to challenge the reader's perception of the worldly and the divine, with a sudden gestalt of insight, with depth of feeling, and with appreciation for the many layers of meaning contained in each phrase.
In light of the fact that teaching something definitive on the overall meaning of human life is a monumental faux pas within the public school system, the problem is genuine; for one cannot so much as put up a small Christmas tree in a classroom without someone coming down hard and forbidding it.
Open Court's titles specialize in and emphasize philosophy and Movies And The Meaning Of Life: Philosophers Take On Hollywood keeps with the strong intent of linking philosophical concepts to everyday popular culture.
I consider myself as tolerant, even as liberal, as the next person when it comes to accepting a new idiom entering the language--idiom being, in one dictionary definition, "an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements.
In sorting out our life we talk not only with friends, but maybe with a counselor, a psychiatrist, or a spiritual director because we need their help to find the meaning of our experiences.
Fuzzy creatures--no, not the cuddly ones on your bed--can have some pretty deep meaning in Dreamland.