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[meen-spir-i-tid] /ˈminˈspɪr ɪ tɪd/
petty; small-minded; ungenerous:
a meanspirited man, unwilling to forgive.
Origin of meanspirited
First recorded in 1685-95; mean2 + spirited
Related forms
meanspiritedly, adverb
meanspiritedness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mean-spirited
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As for Leonardus, I believed that he was wholly actuated by selfish pride, and mean-spirited envy.

    The Devil's Elixir E. T. A. Hoffmann
  • What would his father think of him if he knew what a mean-spirited coward he was?

    Steve and the Steam Engine Sara Ware Bassett
  • He was not of the mean-spirited who walk among men making apology for their lives.

  • Madge knew that Alfred Thornton was snobbish and mean-spirited.

    Madge Morton's Secret Amy D. V. Chalmers
  • The masters are mean-spirited wretches, pinching, kicking and boxing the children upon every turn.

Word Origin and History for mean-spirited

also meanspirited, 1690s, from mean (adj.1) + spirited. Ancient Greek had the same image in mikropsykhos.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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