- to gather slowly and laboriously, bit by bit.
- to gather (grain or the like) after the reapers or regular gatherers.
- to learn, discover, or find out, usually little by little or slowly.
- to collect or gather anything little by little or slowly.
- to gather what is left by reapers.
Origin of glean
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for glean
By presenting the data in a unified fashion, it makes it easier to glean insights.The Best Quantified Self Site You Haven’t Heard Of
Jamie Todd Rubin
August 5, 2014
And you might be able to glean some advance knowledge of new product launches or marketing campaigns.McDonald’s Ditches Heinz To Keep Burger King Out of Its Business
October 28, 2013
But there are still many valuable insights that modern politicians can glean from his example.Lincoln the Primitive Communicator? What He Can Teach Modern Politicians
Douglas L. Wilson
December 15, 2012
“They wanted to glean good ideas and figured their opponent the CIA was doing it, so they had to do it too,” Grady said.The Novelist Who Spied: How Dennis Wheatley Helped Defeat the Nazis
August 8, 2012
I also reread writers I admire, and try to glean a phrase or thought that will get me going.Inside the NYT Book Review: ‘How I Write’ Interviews Sam Tanenhaus
August 8, 2012
First came the harvesters; and then those who were content to glean where the others had left.The Balladists
It is out of what I glean from individuals I make up my generalities.'Lord Kilgobbin
Now it remained—and O, the sweetness of it—to glean the harvest of our toil.The Trail of '98
Robert W. Service
Stuart strained his ears to the utmost, but isolated words were all that he could glean.Plotting in Pirate Seas
Formerly I used to glean some news about you from my sisters.
- to gather (something) slowly and carefully in small piecesto glean information from the newspapers
- to gather (the useful remnants of a crop) from the field after harvesting
Word Origin and History for glean
early 14c., from Old French glener (Modern French glaner) "to glean," from Late Latin glennare "make a collection," perhaps from Gaulish (cf. Old Irish do-glinn "he collects, gathers," Celt. glan "clean, pure"). Figurative sense was earlier in English than the literal one of "gather grain left by the reapers" (late 14c.). Related: Gleaned; gleaning.