mean

mean
I [[t]mi͟ːn[/t]] VERB USES
(Please look at category 19 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.)
1) VERB: no cont If you want to know what a word, code, signal, or gesture means, you want to know what it refers to or what its message is.

[V n] In modern Welsh, `glas' means `blue'...

[V n] What does `evidence' mean?...

[V that] The red signal means you can shoot.

Syn:
2) VERB: no cont If you ask someone what they mean, you are asking them to explain exactly what or who they are referring to or what they are intending to say.

[V n] Do you mean me?...

[V n] Let me illustrate what I mean with an old story...

[V n] What do you think he means by that?...

[V that] I think he means that he does not want this marriage to turn out like his friend's.

3) VERB: no cont If something means something to you, it is important to you in some way.

[V amount to n] The idea that she witnessed this shameful incident meant nothing to him...

[it V amount to-inf] It would mean a lot to them to win. [Also V amount]

4) VERB: no cont If one thing means another, it shows that the second thing exists or is true.

[V n] An enlarged prostate does not necessarily mean cancer...

[V that] Just because he has a beard doesn't necessarily mean he's a hippy.

Syn:
5) VERB: no cont If one thing means another, the first thing leads to the second thing happening.

[V n] It would almost certainly mean the end of NATO...

[V n] Trade and product discounts can also mean big savings...

[V that] The change will mean that the country no longer has full diplomatic relations with other states.

6) VERB If doing one thing means doing another, it involves doing the second thing.

[V -ing] Children universally prefer to live in peace and security, even if that means living with only one parent...

[V -ing] Managing well means communicating well.

Syn:
7) VERB: no cont If you say that you mean what you are saying, you are telling someone that you are serious about it and are not joking, exaggerating, or just being polite.

[V n] He says you're fired if you're not back at work on Friday. And I think he meant it...

[V n] He could see I meant what I said. So he took his fur coat and left.

8) VERB: no cont If you say that someone meant to do something, you are saying that they did it deliberately.

[V to-inf] I didn't mean to hurt you...

[V to-inf] If that sounds harsh, it is meant to...

[V to-inf] Did you mean to leave your dog here?...

[V n to-inf] I can see why you believed my letters were threatening but I never meant them to be.

Syn:
9) VERB: no cont, with brd-neg If you say that someone did not mean any harm, offence, or disrespect, you are saying that they did not intend to upset or offend people or to cause problems, even though they may in fact have done so.

[V n] I'm sure he didn't mean any harm...

[V n] I didn't mean any offence. It was a flippant, off-the-cuff remark.

Syn:
10) VERB: no cont If you mean to do something, you intend or plan to do it.

[V to-inf] Summer is the perfect time to catch up on the new books you meant to read...

[V to-inf] You know very well what I meant to say...

[V to-inf] I mean to look after my body.

Syn:
11) VERB: usu passive, no cont If you say that something was meant to happen, you believe that it was made to happen by God or fate, and did not just happen by chance.

[be V-ed to-inf] John was constantly reassuring me that we were meant to be together.

Syn:
12) PHRASE: PHR with cl You say `I mean' when making clearer something that you have just said. [SPOKEN]

It was his idea. Gordon's, I mean...

Is something upsetting you - I mean, apart from this business?

13) PHRASE: PHR with cl You can use `I mean' to introduce a statement, especially one that justifies something that you have just said. [SPOKEN]

I'm sure he wouldn't mind. I mean, I was the one who asked him...

They were filled with racial stereotypes, I mean, it looked like something from the 1930s.

14) PHRASE: PHR with cl You say I mean when correcting something that you have just said. [SPOKEN]

It was law or classics - I mean English or classics.

Syn:
15) PHRASE: Vs inflect, oft PHR to-inf If you know what it means to do something, you know everything that is involved in a particular activity or experience, especially the effect that it has on you.

I know what it means to lose a child under such tragic circumstances.

16) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n If a name, word, or phrase means something to you, you have heard it before and you know what it refers to.

`Oh, Gairdner,' he said, as if that meant something to him...

Does the word `Fareham' mean anything to anyone?

17) PHRASE: V inflects If you say that someone means well, you mean they are trying to be kind and helpful, even though they might be causing someone problems or upsetting them.

I know you mean well, but I can manage by myself.

18) PHRASE: PHR with cl You use `you mean' in a question to check that you have understood what someone has said.

What accident? You mean Christina's?...

`What if I had said no?' `About the apartment, you mean?'

19) to mean businesssee business
if you know what I meansee know
See also , meant
II [[t]mi͟ːn[/t]] ADJECTIVE USES
meaner, meanest
1) ADJ-GRADED (disapproval) If you describe someone as mean, you are being critical of them because they are unwilling to spend much money or to use very much of a particular thing. [mainly BRIT]

Don't be mean with fabric, otherwise curtains will end up looking skimpy.

Syn:
Derived words:
meanness N-UNCOUNT

This very careful attitude to money can sometimes border on meanness.

(in AM, use , stingy)
2) ADJ-GRADED (disapproval) If you describe an amount as mean, you are saying that it is very small. [BRIT]

...the meanest grant possible from the local council.

3) ADJ-GRADED: usu v-link ADJ, oft ADJ to n If someone is being mean, they are being unkind to another person, for example by not allowing them to do something.

The little girls had locked themselves in upstairs because Mack had been mean to them...

I'd feel mean saying no.

Syn:
Derived words:
meanly ADV-GRADED usu ADV with v, also ADV adj

He had been behaving very meanly to his girlfriend.

4) ADJ-GRADED If you describe a person or animal as mean, you are saying that they are very bad-tempered and cruel. [mainly AM]

The state's former commissioner of prisons once called Leonard the meanest man he'd ever seen.

5) ADJ-GRADED: usu ADJ n If you describe a place as mean, you think that it looks poor and dirty.

He was raised on the mean streets of the central market district of Panama City.

6) ADJ: ADJ n (approval) You can use mean in expressions such as `He plays a mean trumpet' and `She mixes a mean cocktail' to indicate that someone does something extremely well. [INFORMAL]

He cooks a mean salmon...

Marge played a mean game of tennis.

7) PHRASE: PHR n (approval) You can use no mean in expressions such as `no mean writer' and `no mean golfer' to indicate that someone does something well. [INFORMAL]

She was no mean performer on a variety of other instruments...

Moreover, Ramsay was no mean thinker himself.

8) PHRASE: PHR n You can use no mean in expressions such as `no mean achievement' and `no mean task' to indicate that someone has done something they deserve to be proud of.

To destroy 121 enemy aircraft is no mean record...

Repton reached the final, and since around 1,500 schools entered the competition, that was no mean achievement.

III [[t]mi͟ːn[/t]] NOUN USE
N-SING: the N, oft N n
The mean is a number that is the average of a set of numbers.
See also means

Take a hundred and twenty values and calculate the mean.

...the mean score for 26-year-olds.

Syn:

English dictionary. 2008.

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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

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