Meanings are felt and lived by the human organism before they are articulated. Following insights from pragmatism and embodied cognition, this paper suggests that there is an ‘appropriate’ relationship between what is meant and was is expressed in words and actions that can be formulated as a hitherto neglected yet crucial validity claim, namely congruity (Stimmigkeit). Congruity is what connects the meaningfulness implicit in living a life with the articulated meanings of symbolic communication. We distinguish between the intertwined aspects of (1) semiotic congruity , the fusion between sensual patterns and semiotic meanings, (2) performative congruity , the freedom and ability to articulate qualitatively experienced meaningfulness, and (3) hermeneutic congruity , the capability of achieving congruence between situational meanings and one’s entire being-in-the-world. The latter presupposes a synthesis of horizontal (biographical and experiental) and vertical (pertaining to the relation between the several strata of cultural meanings) congruity .