Meant To Be: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
July 22, 2023

The phrase "meant to be" can evoke a sense of destiny and purpose, suggesting that certain events or circumstances are not merely random but rather part of a greater plan. This idiom carries several layers of meaning, including the idea that something was designed to have a specific characteristic, that someone is destined to attain a certain status or role, or that a certain occurrence was preordained. Through various forms of communication, we often express this belief in fate or design, be it in a light-hearted banter with friends or a deeper philosophical discussion.

In short:

  • "Meant to be" suggests that something or someone is designed or destined to possess a particular trait or achieve a certain state.
  • It implies a sense of inevitability, suggesting a predestined path or fate.

What Does "Meant to Be" Mean?

The phrase "meant to be" carries a sense of destiny or purpose. When we say something is "meant to be," it indicates that it was designed or destined to occur or possess a certain characteristic.

Let's delve deeper into its primary meanings and usage:

  • "Meant to be" can be used to imply that something was designed with a specific intention or purpose.
    • For example: "The colorful logo was meant to be eye-catching and represent the company's creative spirit."
  • It's also used to suggest that someone is destined to achieve a certain role or status.
    • For example: "Despite their differences, the two friends felt they were meant to be business partners and create a successful enterprise together."
  • Lastly, "meant to be" can be used to describe events or circumstances that seem predestined or inevitable.
    • For example: "The unexpected encounter at the coffee shop led to a lifelong friendship as if it was meant to be."
  • Similar phrases to "meant to be" include "destined to be," "fated to be," or "designed to be."

Where Does "Meant to Be" Come From?

The phrase "meant to be" has roots in the human fascination with destiny and purpose. The term reflects our enduring quest for meaning and pattern in life events, suggesting the existence of a grand plan or design. Over time, this phrase has found widespread use in various cultures and languages, emphasizing the universal human propensity to search for significance and order in the world.

Historical Example

"The antiphonal chanting of the Psalms is meant to be congregational: whether the congregation be a large body of ecclesiasticks alone, or a mixed one. It is altogether an abuse that the chanting of Psalms has come to be thought a quire instead of a common song."

- The Ecclesiologist, Volume 5, 1846

10 Examples of "Meant to Be" in Sentences

To illustrate how "meant to be" is used in various contexts, let's take a look at some examples:

  • You got it! You were meant to be an influencer all along.
  • After the toxic relationship ended, she felt a sense of relief and thought, "Good riddance. It wasn't meant to be."
  • She felt she was meant to be a doctor from a young age, as she was always drawn to helping others.
  • Even though he trained hard, he didn't win the championship and realized it wasn't meant to be.
  • Age is just a number, and their love story proves that they were meant to be together despite the age difference.
  • The last-minute opportunity to showcase her art was like a sign that her career as an artist was meant to be.
  • The book was meant to be serious, but it ended up being hilariously absurd.
  • They found themselves running into each other on a daily basis, which made them believe that their friendship was meant to be.
  • When he placed an order for the same obscure book as she did, they realized it was meant to be that they met in the bookstore.
  • Our relationship was not meant to be, but we're still on good terms.

Examples of "Meant to Be" in Pop Culture

The phrase "meant to be" is frequently employed in pop culture, symbolizing an element of destiny or purpose in relationships, events, or situations.

Let's dive into some examples:

  • "Meant to Be" is a popular song by Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line. The lyrics tell a story of a relationship that, despite not being planned, seems predestined.
  • From an article on Bleacher Report about the greatest pound-for-pound boxers of all time: "Mexican-American, handsome, well-spoken and clean-cut, he exemplified what it meant to be "The Golden Boy."
  • In an article about the most influential black Americans in history on Andscape: "from showing the world what it meant to be black in America to the story of 12-year-old Flavio in the slums of Rio de Janeiro."
  • The song by "Meant to Be" by Faye Greenberg from Disney Sing-Along has the lyrics: "Maybe you′ve already met the one you'll never forget! Your meant to be! When it's meant to be! The stars seem to glisten! Meant to be!"

Other/Different Ways to Say "Meant to Be"

There are several other expressions that convey a similar sense of purpose or destiny as "meant to be."

Here are some alternatives:

  • Destined to be
  • Fated to happen
  • Preordained
  • Intended to be
  • Planned to be
  • Designed to be
  • Inevitable
  • Predestined
  • Decreed
  • Ordained

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Meant to Be":

  • What does "meant to be" mean?

The phrase "meant to be" refers to a belief that something is predetermined or destined to happen, often used in the context of fate or destiny.

  • How can I use "meant to be" in a sentence?

Here is an example: "Their connection was so deep and instantaneous that they knew they were meant to be kindred souls."

  • Where does the phrase "meant to be" come from?

The phrase "meant to be" originates from the concept of fate or destiny, the idea that events are set to occur in a certain way.

  • Can you use "meant to be" in non-romantic contexts?

Yes, "meant to be" can be used in a variety of contexts, not just romantic. It can refer to careers, friendships, opportunities, and more.

  • Does "meant to be" imply a lack of free will?

Not necessarily. While it suggests an element of destiny, using "meant to be" doesn't deny the presence of free will or personal choices.

  • Is "meant to be" always positive?

No, "meant to be" can be used in both positive and negative contexts. For instance, someone might say, "The relationship wasn't meant to be" after a breakup.

  • Can "meant to be" be used to denote purpose or intention?

Yes, "meant to be" can be used to indicate purpose or intention, such as "The guidebook is meant to be a comprehensive resource for travelers."

  • Does "meant to be" signify certainty?

Generally, "meant to be" implies a belief in destiny or fate rather than absolute certainty, as it still allows for the potential of unforeseen circumstances or changes.

  • Can "meant to be" refer to missed opportunities?

Yes, "meant to be" can be used to console oneself about missed opportunities, suggesting that if something didn't happen, it wasn't intended to.

  • Is "meant to be" a universal concept?

Yes, the concept behind "meant to be", which encompasses destiny and fate, is present in many cultures and languages around the world, though the specific phrase may vary.

Final Thoughts About "Meant to Be"

The phrase "meant to be" carries a weight of destiny and fate, often used to denote events or relationships that seem predestined. It offers a sense of comfort and understanding in the face of life's unpredictability. The concept can apply to romantic relationships, friendships, career paths, or opportunities, making it a versatile and widely used expression.

Here's a quick recap:

  • "Meant to be" refers to the belief in predestination or destiny.
  • It is a versatile phrase that can apply to a variety of life situations, not limited to romance.
  • Though it suggests an element of fate, it does not deny the presence of free will.

In many ways, the phrase "meant to be" reflects our human tendency to seek patterns and purpose in life events. It helps to shape our understanding of the world and provides comfort when navigating uncertain situations. Whether you believe in destiny or not, the concept of "meant to be" has a prominent place in our everyday language and thought processes.

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