Etymology: Middle English lenen, from Old English hleonian; akin to Old High German hlinēn to lean, Greek klinein, Latin clinare
Date: before 12th century
a. to incline, deviate, or bend from a vertical position
b. to cast one's weight to one side for support
2. to rely for support or inspiration
3. to incline in opinion, taste, or desire <leaning toward a career in chemistry> transitive verb to cause to lean ; incline II. noun Date: 1776 the act or an instance of leaning ; inclination III. adjective Etymology: Middle English lene, from Old English hlǣne Date: before 12th century 1. a. lacking or deficient in flesh b. containing little or no fat <lean meat> 2. lacking richness, sufficiency, or productiveness <lean profits> <the lean years> 3. deficient in an essential or important quality or ingredient: as a. of ore containing little valuable mineral b. low in combustible component — used especially of fuel mixtures 4. characterized by economy (as of style, expression, or operation) • leanly adverb • leanness noun Synonyms: lean, spare, lank, lanky, gaunt, rawboned, scrawny, skinny mean thin because of an absence of excess flesh. lean stresses lack of fat and of curving contours <a lean racehorse>. spare suggests leanness from abstemious living or constant exercise <the gymnast's spare figure>. lank implies tallness as well as leanness <the lank legs of the heron>. lanky suggests awkwardness and loose-jointedness as well as thinness <a lanky youth, all arms and legs>. gaunt implies marked thinness or emaciation as from overwork or suffering <a prisoner's gaunt face>. rawboned suggests a large ungainly build without implying undernourishment <a rawboned farmer>. scrawny and skinny imply an extreme leanness that suggests deficient strength and vitality <a scrawny chicken> <skinny street urchins>. IV. transitive verb Date: before 12th century to make lean V. noun Date: 15th century the part of meat that consists principally of lean muscle
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.