1. (past and past part. meant)
1 a (often foll. by to + infin.) have as one's purpose or intention; have in mind (they really mean mischief; I didn't mean to break it). b (foll. by by) have as a motive in explanation (what do you mean by that?).
2 (often in passive) design or destine for a purpose (mean it to be used; mean it for a stopgap; is meant to be a gift).
3 intend to convey or indicate or refer to (a particular thing or notion) (I mean we cannot go; I mean Richmond in Surrey).
4 entail, involve (it means catching the early train).
5 (often foll. by that + clause) portend, signify (this means trouble; your refusal means that we must look elsewhere).
6 (of a word) have as its explanation in the same language or its equivalent in another language.
7 (foll. by to) be of some specified importance to (a person), esp. as a source of benefit or object of affection etc. (that means a lot to me).
Phrases and idioms:
mean business be in earnest. mean it not be joking or exaggerating. mean to say really admit (usu. in interrog.: do you mean to say you have lost it?). mean well (often foll. by to, towards, by) have good intentions.
Etymology: OE maelignan f. WG, rel. to MIND
1 niggardly; not generous or liberal.
2 (of an action) ignoble, small-minded.
3 (of a person's capacity, understanding, etc.) inferior, poor.
4 (of housing) not imposing in appearance; shabby.
5 a malicious, ill-tempered. b US vicious or aggressive in behaviour.
6 colloq. skilful, formidable (is a mean fighter).
7 colloq. ashamed (feel mean).
Phrases and idioms:
no mean a very good (that is no mean achievement). mean White = poor White.
meanly adv. meanness n.
Etymology: OE maeligne, gemaeligne f. Gmc
n. & adj.
1 a condition, quality, virtue, or course of action equally removed from two opposite (usu. unsatisfactory) extremes.
2 Math. a the term or one of the terms midway between the first and last terms of an arithmetical or geometrical etc. progression (2 and 8 have the arithmetic mean 5 and the geometric mean 4). b the quotient of the sum of several quantities and their number, the average.
1 (of a quantity) equally far from two extremes.
2 calculated as a mean.
Phrases and idioms:
mean free path the average distance travelled by a gas molecule etc. between collisions. mean sea level the sea level halfway between the mean levels of high and low water. mean sun an imaginary sun moving in the celestial equator at the mean rate of the real sun, used in calculating solar time. mean time the time based on the movement of the mean sun.
Etymology: ME f. AF meen f. OF meien, moien f. L medianus MEDIAN

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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  • 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

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  • 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

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