mean1 [ min ] (past tense and past participle meant [ ment ] ) verb transitive ***
1. ) to have a particular meaning:
The word means something different in French.
What does pulchritude mean?
mean something by something: Everything depends on what you mean by the word free.
a ) to communicate a particular meaning, feeling, or piece of information:
When you shake your head it usually means no.
For most people, Paris means romance.
His behavior doesn't mean that he doesn't like you.
take something to mean something (=understand it to mean a particular thing): I took their silence to mean disapproval.
b ) to be evidence that something exists:
That dark patch means that water is coming in.
The look on her face meant only one thing trouble.
2. ) to intend something bad or harmful:
I know they didn't mean our family any disrespect.
mean someone harm (=intend to harm them): She had never meant him any real harm.
a ) to intend to do something, often something bad or wrong:
mean to do something: Whoops! I didn't mean to step on your toe.
I mean to leave that meeting with a new contract.
b ) to want someone to do something, or to want something to happen to someone:
mean (for) someone to do something: It was our secret I didn't mean for you to tell him.
We didn't mean for you to lose your job.
c ) to say something with a particular intention:
mean something as a joke/compliment/insult: Don't be offended, she meant it as a compliment.
3. ) to make something necessary or make it happen:
This development could mean that the lawsuit will be dropped.
something means doing something: The new agreement means accepting lower wages.
be meant for something/someone
1. ) to be intended or designed for something or someone:
The bigger offices on the ground floor are meant for top management only.
These books are not meant for grade school students.
2. ) to be appropriate for something:
I don't think she's meant to be a teacher.
3. ) if two people are meant for each other, they are suitable for each other as romantic partners
be meant to do something
1. ) to have a particular responsibility or duty:
You were meant to keep the children out of trouble.
2. ) to have a particular purpose. This is sometimes used for suggesting that something does not succeed very well:
It was meant to be an apology, but it only made her angry.
I know what you mean SPOKEN
used for telling someone that you understand their situation very well, often because you have had a similar experience
I mean (to say) SPOKEN
1. ) used for adding a comment or explaining what you have just said:
We couldn't live on that! I mean, it's ridiculous.
2. ) used for correcting a mistake in something you have just said:
Let's ask Mark. I mean Marco.
I see what you mean SPOKEN
used for telling someone that you understand what they are saying
mean business INFORMAL
to seriously intend to do what you say you will do:
They've threatened to close us down, and I think they mean business.
mean someone/something
to refer to someone or something when you are talking, looking, pointing, etc. at them:
No, I don't mean her; I mean the tall woman.
mean nothing
to have no importance:
After yesterday, your apologies mean nothing.
mean something/everything/anything
1. ) to be important:
She knows the children mean everything in the world to me.
It was just one little kiss and it didn't mean anything.
2. ) mean anything to someone to be familiar to someone:
Does the name Chris Hill mean anything to you?
meant to be
used for talking about something that seems certain to happen, usually because it has been decided by God or other forces that people cannot control:
Oh well it was just not meant to be.
mean well
to intend something good, kind, or appropriate, even though there is a bad result:
I know she can be annoying, but she means well.
what do you mean? SPOKEN
1. ) used for asking someone to explain what they have said
2. ) used for showing that you are shocked or annoyed about something that someone has told you:
What do you mean you can't find the keys?
(do) you mean...? SPOKEN
used for saying what someone else has said using different words, as a way of asking them if you have understood it correctly:
You mean we do the work and you get the money?
mean 2 [ min ] adjective **
▸ 1 cruel/angry/violent
▸ 2 excellent/skillful
▸ 3 typical of poverty
▸ 4 not spending money
▸ 5 average
1. ) INFORMAL cruel:
Our teachers were just mean.
be mean to someone: Don't be so mean to your sister.
a ) angry and violent:
a mean look in his eye
a mean horse
2. ) only before noun INFORMAL excellent or skillful:
She plays a mean game of tennis.
3. ) MAINLY LITERARY typical of the living conditions and environment of poor people:
a mean little house
mean streets
4. ) BRITISH CHEAP (=not willing to spend money):
She was too mean to turn on the heat.
5. ) TECHNICAL average:
Calculate the mean distance traveled.
╾ mean|ly adverb
╾ mean|ness noun uncount
mean 3 [ min ] noun count
1. ) TECHNICAL an average number or amount
2. ) FORMAL something that is between two extremes or opposites

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.


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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