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[meen] /min/
air, bearing, or demeanor, as showing character, feeling, etc.:
a man of noble mien.
Origin of mien
1505-15; probably aphetic variant of obsolete demean bearing, demean2; spelled with -ie- to distinguish it from mean2
Can be confused
mean, mien.
appearance, look; carriage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mien
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He desisted at last and looked back at us with a mien of anger.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • Kirkwood turned to meet her onslaught with a mien grave, determined, unflinching.

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • He was a good stout knight, but sorrowful of face and downcast of mien.

  • And yet he stood in awe of that Virgin, so like a princess in her mien.

  • Like the spectators at the time, we cannot pity Socrates; his mien and his language are so noble and fearless.

    Phaedo Plato
  • There was something about this courier's mien and person that awoke a poignant memory.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • At that Rabecque stepped towards them, very purposeful of mien.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • Beardsley cocked his head and listened, his mien almost beatific.

    We're Friends, Now Henry Hasse
  • How could you deem him a rogue—he with so noble a mien and so beautiful a countenance?

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for mien


(literary) a person's manner, bearing, or appearance, expressing personality or mood: a noble mien
Word Origin
C16: probably variant of obsolete demean appearance; related to French mine aspect
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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Contemporary definitions for mien

appearance, bearing; manner

Word Origin

shortening and alteration of demean's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for mien

"facial expression," 1510s, probably a shortening of Middle English demean "bearing, demeanor" (see demeanor) and influenced by Middle French mine "appearance, facial expression," which is of unknown origin, possibly Celtic (cf. Breton min "beak, muzzle, nose," Irish men "mouth").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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