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[gleen] /glin/
verb (used with object)
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.
verb (used without object)
to collect or gather anything little by little or slowly.
to gather what is left by reapers.
Origin of glean
1350-1400; Middle English glenen < Old French glener < Late Latin glennāreCeltic
Related forms
gleanable, adjective
gleaner, noun
ungleaned, adjective
3. garner, deduce, infer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gleaner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We will here give a copy of what happened in 1732, and which we inserted in the gleaner (Glaneur), No.

    The Phantom World Augustin Calmet
  • Sheard, of the gleaner, pressed forward and grasped both his hands.

  • It is the last 'scoop' that I have to offer to the gleaner, but it is the biggest of all!

  • The gleaner assured its many readers that such was indeed the case.

  • If he could once introduce his gleaner in Venice, he should be a made man.

    Ragged Lady, Complete William Dean Howells
  • He believes in your gleaner, and he knows all about machinery.

    Ragged Lady, Complete William Dean Howells
  • We remark, next, that every ear the gleaner gets she has to stoop for.

    Talks To Farmers Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • Then, again, the gleaner takes the wheat home and threshes it.

    Talks To Farmers Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • The gleaner's sheaf looked like the knot of a girl's hair woven in and bound.

    Field and Hedgerow Richard Jefferies
British Dictionary definitions for gleaner


to gather (something) slowly and carefully in small pieces: to glean information from the newspapers
to gather (the useful remnants of a crop) from the field after harvesting
Derived Forms
gleanable, adjective
gleaner, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French glener, from Late Latin glennāre, probably of Celtic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gleaner

mid-15c., agent noun from glean (v.).



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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