adjective, lean·er, lean·est.
Origin of lean2
Synonyms for lean
Antonyms for lean
Related Words for leannessweakness, lack, dearth, failure, poverty, deficit, scarcity, shortfall, lapse, inadequacy, paucity, scantiness, insufficiency, curtailment, want, pinch, leanness, defalcation, emaciation, slenderness
Examples from the Web for leanness
Historical Examples of leanness
"I was thinking less of their leanness than of their smell," I returned.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
His saving is like the spleen which swelleth with the leanness of all the other members.Notre-Dame de Paris
But there's a verse about leanness in the soul, isn't there?Moor Fires
E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young
What shall be said of thickness and thinness, of fatness and leanness?Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 3
Mohammed, however, calls it abu hadlan (father of leanness).A Pilgrimage to Nejd, Vol. 1 [of 2]
verb leans, leaning, leaned or leant
Word Origin for lean
Word Origin for lean
"action or state of leaning," 1776, from lean (v.).
c.1200, from Old English hleonian "to bend, recline, lie down, rest," from Proto-Germanic *khlinen (cf. Old Saxon hlinon, Old Frisian lena, Middle Dutch lenen, Dutch leunen, Old High German hlinen, German lehnen "to lean"), from PIE root *klei- "to lean, to incline" (cf. Sanskrit srayati "leans," sritah "leaning;" Old Persian cay "to lean;" Lithuanian slyti "to slope," slieti "to lean;" Latin clinare "to lean, bend," clivus "declivity," inclinare "cause to bend," declinare "bend down, turn aside;" Greek klinein "to cause to slope, slant, incline;" Old Irish cloin "crooked, wrong;" Middle Irish cle, Welsh cledd "left," literally "slanting;" Welsh go-gledd "north," literally "left" -- for similar sense evolution, see Yemen, Benjamin, southpaw).
Meaning "to incline the body against something for support" is mid-13c. Figurative sense of "to trust for support" is from early 13c. Sense of "to lean toward mentally, to favor" is from late 14c. Related: Leaned; leaning. Colloquial lean on "put pressure on" (someone) is first recorded 1960.
"thin, spare, with little flesh or fat," c.1200, from Old English hlæne "lean, thin," possibly from hlænan "cause to lean or bend," from Proto-Germanic *khlainijan, which would connect it to Old English hleonian (see lean (v.)). But perhaps rather, according to OED, from a PIE *qloinio- (cf. Lithuanian klynas "scrap, fragment," Lettish kleins "feeble"). Extended and figurative senses from early 14c. The noun meaning "lean animals or persons" is from c.1200, from the adjective.