adjective, lean·er, lean·est.
- leamington spa,
- lean and hungry look,
- lean on,
- lean over backwards,
Origin of lean2
Examples from the Web for leanness
The marquis, with his leanness and small crafty-looking head, reminded him exactly of a long green grasshopper.The Fortune of the Rougons|Emile Zola
He then abused me for my leanness, and admired the Taleb (Overweg), because he had more flesh on his bones.
The old age of Pantaloon is marked by his leanness, and his spectacles and his slippers.A History of Pantomime|R. J. Broadbent
His leanness was the leanness of muscular strength and condition, his face was full of vigour and determination.The Evil Shepherd|E. Phillips Oppenheim
At the same time, he felt dull and deserted; he knew what it was to have his desire, and leanness in his soul.Frances Kane's Fortune|L. T. Meade
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.