[ lee-ning ]
/ ˈli nɪŋ /


inclination; tendency: strong literary leanings.

Nearby words

  1. lean-faced,
  2. lean-to,
  3. leander,
  4. leaner,
  5. leangle,
  6. leaning tower of pisa,
  7. leaning tower of pisa, the,
  8. leanly,
  9. leanness,
  10. leant

Origin of leaning

before 1000; Middle English leninge, Old English hlining. See lean1, -ing1

Origin of lean

before 900; Middle English lenen, Old English hleonian, hlinian; cognate with G. lehnen; akin to Latin clīnāre to incline, Greek klī́nein

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for leaning

British Dictionary definitions for leaning


/ (ˈliːnɪŋ) /


a tendency or inclination


/ (liːn) /


Sir David. 1908–91, English film director. His films include In Which We Serve (1942), Blithe Spirit (1945), Brief Encounter (1946), Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Dr Zhivago (1965), and A Passage to India (1984)


/ (liːn) /

verb leans, leaning, leaned or leant

(foll by against, on, or upon) to rest or cause to rest against a support
to incline or cause to incline from a vertical position
(intr; foll by to or towards) to have or express a tendency or leaning
lean over backwards informal to make a special effort, esp in order to please


the condition of inclining from a vertical position
See also lean on

Word Origin for lean

Old English hleonian, hlinian; related to Old High German hlinēn, Latin clīnāre to incline


/ (liːn) /



the part of meat that contains little or no fat
Derived Formsleanly, adverbleanness, noun

Word Origin for lean

Old English hlǣne, of Germanic 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

Word Origin and History for leaning
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper