mean
I. verb (meant; meaning) Etymology: Middle English menen, from Old English mǣnan; akin to Old High German meinen to have in mind, Old Church Slavic měniti to mention Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. a. to have in the mind as a purpose ; intend <
she means to win
>
— sometimes used interjectionally with I, chiefly in informal speech for emphasis <
he throws, I mean, hard
>
or to introduce a phrase restating the point of a preceding phrase <
we try to answer what we can, but I mean we're not God — Bobbie Ann Mason
>
b. to design for or destine to a specified purpose or future <
I was meant to teach
>
2. to serve or intend to convey, show, or indicate ; signify <
a red sky means rain
>
3. to have importance to the degree of <
health means everything
>
4. to direct to a particular individual intransitive verb to have an intended purpose <
he means well
>
meaner noun II. adjective Etymology: Middle English mene, from imene common, shared, from Old English gemǣne; akin to Old High German gimeini common, Latin communis common, munus service, gift, Sanskrit mayate he exchanges Date: 14th century 1. lacking distinction or eminence ; humble 2. lacking in mental discrimination ; dull 3. a. of poor shabby inferior quality or status <
mean city streets
>
b. worthy of little regard ; contemptible — often used in negative constructions as a term of praise <
no mean feat
>
4. lacking dignity or honor ; base 5. a. penurious, stingy b. characterized by petty selfishness or malice c. causing trouble or bother ; vexatious d. excellent, effective <
plays a mean trumpet
>
<
a lean, mean athlete
>
6. ashamed 1b • meanness noun Synonyms: mean, ignoble, abject, sordid mean being below the normal standards of human decency and dignity. mean suggests having such repellent characteristics as small-mindedness, ill temper, or cupidity <
mean and petty satire
>
. ignoble suggests a loss or lack of some essential high quality of mind or spirit <
an ignoble scramble after material possessions
>
. abject may imply degradation, debasement, or servility <
abject poverty
>
. sordid is stronger than all of these in stressing physical or spiritual degradation and abjectness <
a sordid story of murder and revenge
>
. III. adjective Etymology: Middle English mene, from Anglo-French mene, meiene, from Latin medianus — more at median Date: 14th century 1. occupying a middle position ; intermediate in space, order, time, kind, or degree 2. occupying a position about midway between extremes; especially being the mean of a set of values ; average <
the mean temperature
>
3. serving as a means ; intermediary Synonyms: see average IV. noun Date: 14th century 1. a. (1) something intervening or intermediate (2) a middle point between extremes b. a value that lies within a range of values and is computed according to a prescribed law: as (1) arithmetic mean (2) expected value c. either of the middle two terms of a proportion 2. plural but singular or plural in construction something useful or helpful to a desired end 3. plural resources available for disposal; especially material resources affording a secure life

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

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 — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”