By any means
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:

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  • by any means — See: BY NO MEANS …   Dictionary of American idioms

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  • not by any means — See: BY NO MEANS …   Dictionary of American idioms

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  • by no means — or[not by any means] also[by no manner of means] or [not by any manner of means] {adv. phr.} Not even a little; certainly not. * /He is by no means bright./ * / May I stay home from school? By no means. / * /Dick worked on his project Saturday,… …   Dictionary of American idioms

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