There are 3 definitions of mean in English:

mean1

Syllabification: mean
Pronunciation: /mēn
 
/

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 Jones
More 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.
Synonyms
signify, convey, denote, designate, indicate, connote, show, express, spell out; stand for, represent, symbolize; imply, suggest, intimate, hint at, insinuate, drive at, refer to, allude to, point to
literary betoken
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 Cherokee
More 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 it
More 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 people
More 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 secret
More 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.
Synonyms
intend, aim, plan, design, have in mind, contemplate, purpose, propose, set out, aspire, desire, want, wish, expect
2.1 (be meant to do something) Be supposed or intended to do something: we were meant to go over yesterday
More 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 person
More 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.
Synonyms
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?
More example sentences
  • I mean many things by this, which I hope to explore in the coming weeks and months.
  • I meant no harm by my remark, but remember he's only a novice.
  • They assured me that they meant no offense by this.
Synonyms
matter, be important, be significant
3Have as a consequence or result: the proposals are likely to mean another hundred closures [with clause]: heavy rain meant that the ground was waterlogged
More 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.
Synonyms
3.1Necessarily or usually entail or involve: coal stoves mean a lot of smoke
More 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.

Origin

Old English mænan; related to Dutch meenen and German meinen, from an Indo-European root shared by mind.

Phrases

I mean

Used to clarify or correct a statement or to introduce a justification or explanation: I mean, it’s not as if I owned property
More 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.

mean business

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.

mean well

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.

Definition of mean in:

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Word of the day guzzle
Pronunciation: ˈgʌz(ə)l
verb
eat or drink (something) greedily

There are 3 definitions of mean in English:

mean2

Syllabification: mean
Pronunciation: /
 
mēn/

adjective

1Unwilling to give or share things, especially money; not generous: she felt mean not giving a tip they’re not mean with the garlic
More 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.
Synonyms
2Unkind, spiteful, or unfair: it was very mean of me she is always mean to my little brother
More 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.
Synonyms
2.1North American Vicious or aggressive in behavior: the dogs were considered mean
More 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.
3(Especially of a place) poor in quality and appearance; shabby: her home was mean and small
3.1(Of a person’s mental capacity or understanding) inferior; poor: it was obvious to even the meanest intelligence
More example sentences
  • She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper.
Synonyms
inferior, poor, limited, restricted
3.2 dated Of low birth or social class: it was a hat like that worn by the meanest of people
Synonyms
lowly, humble, ordinary, low, low-born, modest, common, base, proletarian, plebeian, obscure, ignoble, undistinguished
archaic baseborn
4 informal Excellent; very skillful or effective: he’s a mean cook she dances a mean Charleston
More 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.

Origin

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.

Phrases

no mean ——

Denoting something very good of its kind: it was no mean feat
More 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.

Derivatives

meanly

adverb
More example sentences
  • ‘You first,’ he said meanly as he prepared to fire.
  • ‘I knew you weren't as good as you said,’ Heather said meanly.
  • ‘Um, sorry’ she said lamely and some classmates chuckled meanly.

Definition of mean in:

There are 3 definitions of mean in English:

mean3

Syllabification: mean
Pronunciation: /
 
mēn/

noun

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.
1.1The term or one of the terms midway between the first and last terms of a progression.
2A condition, quality, or course of action equally removed from two opposite (usually unsatisfactory) extremes: the mean between two extremes
Synonyms
middle course, middle way, midpoint, happy medium, golden mean, compromise, balance; median, norm, average

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 men
More 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.
Synonyms
average, median, middle, medial, medium, normal, standard
2Equally far from two extremes: hope is the mean virtue between despair and presumption

Origin

Middle English: from Old French meien, from Latin medianus 'middle' (see median).

Definition of mean in: