verb Chiefly British.
verb (used without object), leaned or (especially British) leant; lean·ing.
verb (used with object), leaned or (especially British) leant; lean·ing.
- to shift one's body weight forward or toward someone or something: 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.
Origin of lean1
Related Words for leantincline, veer, drift, nod, tilt, recline, tip, slant, prop, twist, bow, cock, prefer, tend, slope, curve, pitch, sag, rest, cant
Examples from the Web for leant
Contemporary Examples of leant
It has now leant its name to a shadowy cabal known within the German meat-processing industry as the Atlantic group.Germany’s Sausage Cartel is the Wurst
July 17, 2014
Almost 50 nations signed on to the so-called “coalition of the willing” and leant at least some small degree of support.The Coalition of the Unwilling
September 7, 2013
While many of these may have allowed Salt to blend in, they also leant a certain fashion cred to her style.Salt's Spy Style
July 23, 2010
The Biennale is always quite intense and feverish, but that heat leant an extra intensity, leant a few extra degrees to the fever.The Ghost of Biennales Past
June 2, 2009
Historical Examples of leant
He leant forward and brought his puzzled gaze to bear upon her.Quaint Courtships
He leaped up and ran to the top of the stairs and leant over the banisters.
He leant across the table and took hold of one of Maggie's hands.
She leant out of the window as if she were trying to see him more closely.
She peered out of the window, and then leant her head through the opening.
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.