Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Devoid of meaning or sense; meaningless: gave a vapid and unmeaning response to a difficult query.
  • adj. Lacking intelligence or liveliness of expression; vacant: an unmeaning face.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having no meaning or significance

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having no meaning or signification.
  • adj. Not indicating intelligence or sense; senseless; expressionless.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having no meaning or signification: as, unmeaning words.
  • Not having or not indicating intelligence or sense; mindless; senseless; expressionless.

Etymologies

un- +‎ meaning (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She looked wildly on me, and then suddenly calming herself, apologized for what she called her unmeaning words, saying that she must indeed be insane, for, while Raymond lived, she must be happy; and then, though she still wept, she suffered me tranquilly to depart.

    The Last Man

  • Here 'unmeaning' does not signify that we are saying anything about the value of such entities, but it gives expression to an ontological characteristic.

    Archive 2007-03-01

  • Page purely as a kind of unmeaning noise it filled you with astonishment at first.

    Falk; Amy Foster; To-Morrow

  • Combined with the bellowing intonation it made the language of one's childhood sound weirdly startling, and even if considered purely as a kind of unmeaning noise it filled you with astonishment at first.

    Falk; Amy Foster; To-Morrow

  • Believe me, Emily, these kind of unmeaning sacrifices are childish; your heart is new to love, and you have all the romance of a girl: Rivers would, on your account, be hurt to hear you had refused to dance in his absence, though he might be flattered to know you had for a moment entertained such an idea.

    The History of Emily Montague

  • Believe me, Emily, these kind of unmeaning sacrifices are childish; your heart is new to love, and you have all the romance of a girl:

    The History of Emily Montague

  • a couplet, we have generally 'that unmeaning thing we call a thought;' so Mr. Campbell concludes with a thought in such a manner as to fulfil the whole of Pope's prescription, and be as 'unmeaning' as the best of his brethren: --

    Byron's Poetical Works, Volume 1

  • Combined with the bellowing intonation it made the language of one’s childhood sound weirdly startling, and even if considered purely as a kind of unmeaning noise it filled you with astonishment at first.

    Falk, by Joseph Conrad

  • Now read these words out loud: It is time for some unmeaning.

    The Bushman Way of Tracking God

  • National literature is now rather an unmeaning term; the epoch of World Literature is at hand, and every one must strive to hasten its approach.

    Canadian Poets: Look about you in foreign nations

Comments

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  • "Their hands met, and he thought he heard her say: “Yes, we’re sailing tomorrow in the Russia—�?; then there was an unmeaning noise of opening doors, and after an interval May’s voice: 'Newland! Dinner’s been announced. Won’t you please take Ellen in?'"
    - Edith Wharton, 'The Age of Innocence'.

    September 20, 2009