Mean Mean, n. 1. That which is mean, or intermediate, between two extremes of place, time, or number; the middle point or place; middle rate or degree; mediocrity; medium; absence of extremes or excess; moderation; measure. [1913 Webster]

But to speak in a mean, the virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

There is a mean in all things. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

The extremes we have mentioned, between which the wellinstracted Christian holds the mean, are correlatives. --I. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

2. (Math.) A quantity having an intermediate value between several others, from which it is derived, and of which it expresses the resultant value; usually, unless otherwise specified, it is the simple average, formed by adding the quantities together and dividing by their number, which is called an {arithmetical mean}. A {geometrical mean} is the nth root of the product of the n quantities being averaged. [1913 Webster]

3. That through which, or by the help of which, an end is attained; something tending to an object desired; intermediate agency or measure; necessary condition or coagent; instrument. [1913 Webster]

Their virtuous conversation was a mean to work the conversion of the heathen to Christ. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

You may be able, by this mean, to review your own scientific acquirements. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster]

Philosophical doubt is not an end, but a mean. --Sir W. Hamilton. [1913 Webster]

Note: In this sense the word is usually employed in the plural form means, and often with a singular attribute or predicate, as if a singular noun. [1913 Webster]

By this means he had them more at vantage. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

What other means is left unto us. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. pl. Hence: Resources; property, revenue, or the like, considered as the condition of easy livelihood, or an instrumentality at command for effecting any purpose; disposable force or substance. [1913 Webster]

Your means are very slender, and your waste is great. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. (Mus.) A part, whether alto or tenor, intermediate between the soprano and base; a middle part. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

The mean is drowned with your unruly base. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

6. Meantime; meanwhile. [Obs.] --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

7. A mediator; a go-between. [Obs.] --Piers Plowman. [1913 Webster]

He wooeth her by means and by brokage. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

{By all means}, certainly; without fail; as, go, by all means.

{By any means}, in any way; possibly; at all. [1913 Webster]

If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. --Phil. iii. ll. [1913 Webster]

{By no means}, or {By no manner of means}, not at all; certainly not; not in any degree. [1913 Webster]

The wine on this side of the lake is by no means so good as that on the other. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mean — Mean, a. [OE. mene, OF. meiien, F. moyen, fr. L. medianus that is in the middle, fr. medius; akin to E. mid. See {Mid}.] 1. Occupying a middle position; middle; being about midway between extremes. [1913 Webster] Being of middle age and a mean… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mean — «Mean» Sencillo de Taylor Swift del álbum Speak Now Publicación 31 de marzo, 2011 Grabación 2010 Género(s) Country pop Duración 3:58 …   Wikipedia Español

  • mean# — mean adj Mean, ignoble, abject, sordid can all be applied to persons, their behavior, or the conditions in which they live with the meaning so low as to be out of keeping with human dignity or generally acceptable standards of human life or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • mean — mean1 [mēn] vt. meant [ment] meaning [ME menen < OE mænan, to mean, tell, complain, akin to Ger meinen, to have in mind, have as opinion < IE base * meino , opinion, intent > OIr mian, wish, desire] 1. to have in mind; intend; purpose… …   English World dictionary

  • Mean — (m[=e]n), a. [Compar. {Meaner} (m[=e]n [ e]r); superl. {Meanest}.] [OE. mene, AS. m[=ae]ne wicked; akin to m[=a]n, a., wicked, n., wickedness, OS. m[=e]n wickedness, OHG. mein, G. meineid perjury, Icel. mein harm, hurt, and perh. to AS.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mean — 1. In the meaning ‘to intend’, mean can be followed by a to infinitive (when the speaker intends to do something: I meant to go), by an object + to infinitive (when the speaker intends someone else to do something: I meant you to go) and, more… …   Modern English usage

  • Méan — (homonymie) Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom.  France Méan est une ancienne commune française de la Loire Atlantique, aujourd hui intégrée à Saint Nazaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • mean — Ⅰ. mean [1] ► VERB (past and past part. meant) 1) intend to express or refer to. 2) (of a word) have as its explanation in the same language or its equivalent in another language. 3) intend to occur or be the case. 4) have as a consequence. 5) …   English terms dictionary

  • Mean — (m[=e]n), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Meant} (m[e^]nt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Meaning}.] [OE. menen, AS. m[=ae]nan to recite, tell, intend, wish; akin to OS. m[=e]nian to have in mind, mean, D. meenen, G. meinen, OHG. meinan, Icel. meina, Sw. mena, Dan. mene …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mean — [adj1] ungenerous close, greedy, mercenary, mingy, miserly, niggard, parsimonious, penny pinching*, penurious, rapacious, scrimpy, selfish, stingy, tight, tight fisted*; concept 334 Ant. generous, kind, unselfish mean [adj2] hostile, rude bad… …   New thesaurus

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