verb (past and past participle meant /ment/)[with object]
- 1Intend to convey, indicate, or refer to (a particular thing or notion); signify: I don’t know what you mean he was asked to clarify what his remarks meant I meant you, not JonesMore example sentences
- It was a slow kiss, intended to mean a promise of a future together.
- ‘Hey freak,’ Jesse greeted, his tone implying that he had meant it strictly as an insult.
- The question is whether that means it intends to triple its workforce.
- 1.1(Of a word) have (something) as its signification in the same language or its equivalent in another language: its name means “painted rock” in CherokeeMore example sentences
- Lenin named his small movement the Bolsheviks, a word meaning majority.
- The word once meant the description of a work of visual art within a poem, but has come to mean poetic description more generally.
- The word also means a narrowing of the eyes so that you can get a clearer view, and an affliction where the eyes are not in line.
- 1.2Genuinely intend to convey or express (something): when she said that before, she meant itMore example sentences
- Mike had the feeling that, deep down inside, she genuinely meant it.
- ‘Thank you,’ she said, and the genuine look in her eyes told me that she really meant it.
- ‘I'm glad to hear it,’ he replied, and the genuine smile he gave me let me know he meant it.
- 1.3 (mean something to) Be of some specified importance to (someone), especially as a source of benefit or object of affection: animals have always meant more to him than peopleMore example sentences
- They had always meant a lot to her, she couldn't explain it.
- This woman means a lot to me and I intend to make sure she's taken care of.
- But it still means a lot to the few people watching.
- 2Intend (something) to occur or be the case: they mean no harm [with infinitive]: it was meant to be a secretMore example sentences
- It's strange how someone can know there was a time quite recent you meant them harm, and still hold no grudge.
- You can come with me to the Temple if you promise that you mean his girl no harm.
- Fear rushed through him and he prayed that the person meant them no harm.
- 2.1 (be meant to do something) Be supposed or intended to do something: we were meant to go over yesterdayMore example sentences
- She didn't know where this place was that supposedly they were meant to go to, and because of that tried to push the thought out of her hyperactive head.
- My first week passed in a blur, mainly caused by my confusion about what I was meant to do and not knowing who everyone was.
- At first he sang mostly for the workers in the factories where he also was meant to be working.
- 2.2 (often be meant for) Design or destine for a particular purpose: the jacket was meant for a much larger personMore example sentences
- I told him that garlic dipping sauce was meant for the sole purpose of dipping!
- The Marble Falls design is meant for business users, with two flat-screen displays and a small chassis.
- We wondered who the oversize sign was meant for.
- 2.3 (mean something by) Have as a motive or excuse in explanation: what do you mean by leaving me out here in the cold?
- 3Have as a consequence or result: the proposals are likely to mean another hundred closures [with clause]: heavy rain meant that the ground was waterloggedMore example sentences
- He said the Danish result was likely to mean that Britain would not join the EMU as early as had originally been anticipated.
- This is likely to mean a greater spend on advertising and promotional activities.
- About 200 people are expected to turn up in all, and the popularity means this is likely to become a regular event.
- 3.1Necessarily or usually entail or involve: coal stoves mean a lot of smokeMore example sentences
- Either way, being a performer meant being involved in the compositional process.
- A day out in Edinburgh does usually mean walking around the city, but suppose we just stayed in-doors.
- Used to clarify or correct a statement or to introduce a justification or explanation: I mean, it’s not as if I owned propertyMore example sentences
- By today, I mean the date at the bottom of the page, not the day I'm writing this, or whenever you may be reading it.
- She had four children, so I mean obviously four times she did have some kind of bodily intimacy.
- I saw this in a full theatre and when the unloaded gun is fired, everybody and I mean everybody moaned.
- Be in earnest.More example sentences
- When it came to books, Ms. Hensley meant business.
- Well, it didn't take long for us to realize they meant business, and they started clearing stuff up right away.
- He thought we were playing some sort of silly joke on him, but we meant business.
mean to say
- [usually in questions] Really admit or intend to say: do you mean to say you’ve uncovered something new?More example sentences
- What you mean to say is that you intend to resist doing so, which I already knew.
- I don't necessarily mean to say that I feel that's right.
- But just because 3 million people buy driving games every year, it doesn't mean to say that they're right.
- Have good intentions, but not always the ability to carry them out.More example sentences
- The woman meant well, but always ended up criticising every little thing I did.
- ‘She always means well,’ Harry muttered in reply.
- Devon always means well, he doesn't like to hurt people.
Old English mænan; related to Dutch meenen and German meinen, from an Indo-European root shared by mind.
- 1Unwilling to give or share things, especially money; not generous: she felt mean not giving a tip they’re not mean with the garlicMore example sentences
- And if you keep being so mean with the price, people might be so angry about it, and they might even burn things down.
- They were horrible - greedy and interfering, and mean and small-minded.
- 2Unkind, spiteful, or unfair: it was very mean of me she is always mean to my little brotherMore example sentences
- She didn't know why, but for some reason she couldn't be spiteful or mean to this man anymore.
- That was probably why he had been so horribly mean to Conner in his room earlier.
- She didn't mean to be mean and cruel but things slip once in while, things she can't control.
- 2.1North American Vicious or aggressive in behavior: the dogs were considered meanMore example sentences
- This person was also abusive, mean and vicious.
- He was perfect in his stall but when he was on the track, he was mean and vicious.
- Eventually, we learn that Monica is a mean, vicious vamp who places men under her power with a combination of humiliation and flabby thighs.
- 4 • informal Excellent; very skillful or effective: he’s a mean cook she dances a mean CharlestonMore example sentences
- I see someone funny and sweet who cooks a mean steak and does a lousy John Wayne impression.
- We opt for number two, and discover the dipso cooks a mean cheese omelette.
- Day has an incredibly luminous screen presence, and in every scene they share, she matches Cagney's swagger with a mean strut of her own.
no mean ——
- Denoting something very good of its kind: it was no mean featMore example sentences
- This small publisher, which brings out eight new titles a year, has made a name for itself and has had three of its books read or adapted on BBC Radio Four - no mean achievement.
- Physically imposing and capable of more than one facial expression, he even holds his own in the fight scenes, no mean feat given the martial calibre of the cast.
- This is no mean feat, considering the size and relative complexity of the cast.
Middle English, shortening of Old English gemǣne, of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin communis 'common'. The original sense was 'common to two or more persons', later 'inferior in rank', leading to (sense 3) and a sense 'ignoble, small-minded', from which (sense 1) and (sense 2) (which became common in the 19th century) arose.
- 1The value obtained by dividing the sum of several quantities by their number; an average: acid output was calculated by taking the mean of all three samples See also arithmetic mean, geometric mean.More example sentences
- The price may rise and fall, but the average mean is what the cost will turn out to be.
- Centering consists of subtracting the sample mean from each independent variable.
- The means and coefficients of variation of output and input variables are reported in Table 1.
adjective[attributive] Back to top
- 1(Of a quantity) calculated as a mean; average: by 1989, the mean age at marriage stood at 24.8 for women and 26.9 for menMore example sentences
- In dealing with commodities such as butter, we recognize patterns in charts and calculate the mean average over a period of time.
- To control for the professional experience of the firm's founding team, I calculated the mean age for the set of founders for each law firm.
- Following convention, quantity terms were normalized using the data means to have mean values of one.
Middle English: from Old French meien, from Latin medianus 'middle' (see median).