- to shift one's body weight forward or toward someone or something: Because Don was whispering, I had to lean in so I could hear him.He stood near home plate and leaned in for the pitch.
- to embrace risk, be assertive, etc., as to achieve the greatest level of success in the workplace: She really knows how to lean in—she'll have a corner office before long.
- to exert influence or pressure on in order to gain cooperation, maintain discipline, or the like: The state is leaning on the company to clean up its industrial wastes.
- to criticize, reprimand, or punish: I would have enjoyed school more if the teachers hadn't leaned on me so much.
Idioms about lean
Origin of lean1
Words nearby lean
Other definitions for lean (2 of 3)
OTHER WORDS FOR lean
OPPOSITES FOR lean
Origin of lean2
synonym study for lean
OTHER WORDS FROM leanleanly, adverbleanness, noun
Other definitions for lean (3 of 3)
ABOUT THIS WORD
What else does lean mean?
Content warning: this article contains references to drug abuse.
In slang, lean is a term for prescription-strength cough syrup mixed with soft drinks and candy. It’s also known by such other names as purple drank or sizzurp.
Where does lean come from?
The term lean, and the practice of drinking it, originated in Houston, Texas, during the late 1980s and 1990s. It was first popularized by the influential producer DJ Screw, who frequently rhymed the words codeine and lean in his music, the resulting intoxication making him slump over (“lean back”). DJ Screw passed away from a codeine overdose in late 2000.
In the mid-2000s, mainstream hip-hop artists like Lil Wayne, Three 6 Mafia, and Gucci Mane helped popularize lean by rapping about the practice of mixing cough syrup and soda.
Lean is glamorized as a relaxing, even euphoria-inducing homemade beverage due to the effect of opiates present in prescription-strength cough syrup. The trend of sippin’ (on) lean has spawned countless hip-hop songs, mixtape titles, and entire album concepts.
How is lean used in real life?
Lean is known as a party beverage and has been described as part of hip-hop and youth culture. According to the lyric website Genius, lean was referenced in over 30% of all hip-hop songs that reached the Billboard Top 100 in 2017.
Rapper Lil Wayne has detailed his unhealthy relationship with lean in numerous songs, most notably in “I Feel Like Dying” from a 2007 mixtape. One music journalist described Wayne’s vivid description of codeine dependency as “torture cloaked in sheer bliss.”
Lean has been named as a cause of death for multiple prominent figures in hip-hop, including A$AP Yams, Pimp C, Big Moe, and several others.
More examples of lean:
“I sip codeine / It makes a southside player lean / Steady stackin green, steady sippin’ codeine
—DJ Screw, “Sippin Codeine” (song), 1996
“Don’t drink lean kids, don’t drink lean. I don’t think it should be a drug that’s glorified. It’s liquid heroin, it’s an opiate.”
—Danny Brown, TimWestWoodTv (YouTube), April 2014
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
How to use lean in a sentence
He added that deGrom combines an ideally long, lean pitching build with exceptional mechanics.Jacob DeGrom Just Keeps Throwing Faster|Travis Sawchik|September 17, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
The view that mail-in ballots are rife with voter fraud is most widely held among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who use only Fox News Channel or talk radio as their main sources of political news.Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccine; Biden says Americans shouldn’t trust Trump|Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner|September 16, 2020|Washington Post
We learned to lean in with our partners to help provide Honda with a credible voice.‘A credible voice’: Why Honda is doubling down on esports|Lara O'Reilly|September 16, 2020|Digiday
So CEO Tim Cook and his team leaned hard on the company’s smartwatch to build excitement.Two new Apple Watches announced at Apple’s ‘Time Flies’ event|Aaron Pressman|September 15, 2020|Fortune
For almost two months, from a few weeks before the team dealt Capela to a few weeks after it had fully leaned into that short-ball style, Westbrook was fantastic.Everything Should Be On The Table For The Houston Rockets. Even James Harden’s Future.|Chris Herring (firstname.lastname@example.org)|September 14, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
In 2012, as a 10th grader, Lean says he recorded his first legitimate song, “Hurt.”The Cult of Yung Lean: ‘I’m Building An Anarchistic Society From the Ground Up’|Marlow Stern|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Yung Lean was born Jonatan Leandoer Håstad in Belarus, before moving to Sweden at the age of 3.The Cult of Yung Lean: ‘I’m Building An Anarchistic Society From the Ground Up’|Marlow Stern|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The trio formed the Sad Boys collective, with Sherm and Gud on production and Lean manning the mic.The Cult of Yung Lean: ‘I’m Building An Anarchistic Society From the Ground Up’|Marlow Stern|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
“We broke off shortly after because we were more ambitious,” says Lean.The Cult of Yung Lean: ‘I’m Building An Anarchistic Society From the Ground Up’|Marlow Stern|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST
His flesh is sagging a bit, but he is still trim and looks lean, sinewy and tough.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile|Robert Ward|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
When she got to the cadenza, he laid down his bton, and retired to lean against the door and enjoy it.Music-Study in Germany|Amy Fay
Past thirty all men begin to dry up or fatten, and he was certainly a lean person.The Soldier of the Valley|Nelson Lloyd
He was a dark impish looking fellow, as lean as Cassius and as crafty and envious as Iago.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall grow lean.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version|Various
The tall, lean youngster wore a junior pilot's bands on the sleeves of his blue uniform.Fee of the Frontier|Horace Brown Fyfe