adjective, mean·er, mean·est.
Origin of mean2
- available resources, especially money: They lived beyond their means.
- considerable financial resources; riches: a man of means.
- a quantity having a value intermediate between the values of other quantities; an average, especially the arithmetic mean.
- either the second or third term in a proportion of four terms.
Origin of mean3
Related Words for meanestselfish, greedy, hard, vile, dangerous, malicious, callous, vicious, evil, ugly, dirty, nasty, rough, miserable, vulgar, petty, humble, close, penny-pinching, mercenary
Examples from the Web for meanest
Contemporary Examples of meanest
By far, the loudest, meanest, and most prolific came from people from states other than Mississippi.Rebels Rise Again Over Flag Banning
July 28, 2014
Historical Examples of meanest
The road to it led through one of the meanest portions of the city.
He's got a drunken father,—one of the meanest kind of drunkards.
That it can be done will be obvious to the meanest comprehension.
We can do all we wish while we live; afterwards we are less than the meanest.The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete
Duc de Saint-Simon
You are solicitous of the good-will of the meanest person, uneasy at his ill-will.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
verb means, meaning or meant (mainly tr)
Word Origin for mean
- of high qualityno mean performer
- difficultno mean feat
Word Origin for mean
Word Origin for mean
"intend, have in mind," Old English mænan "to mean, intend, signify; tell, say; complain, lament," from West Germanic *mainijan (cf. Old Frisian mena "to signify," Old Saxon menian "to intend, signify, make known," Dutch menen, German meinen "think, suppose, be of the opinion"), from PIE *meino- "opinion, intent" (cf. Old Church Slavonic meniti "to think, have an opinion," Old Irish mian "wish, desire," Welsh mwyn "enjoyment"), perhaps from root *men- "think" (see mind (n.)). Conversational question you know what I mean? attested by 1834.
"low-quality," c.1200, "shared by all," from imene, from Old English gemæne "common, public, general, universal, shared by all," from Proto-Germanic *ga-mainiz "possessed jointly" (cf. Old Frisian mene, Old Saxon gimeni, Middle Low German gemeine, Middle Dutch gemene, Dutch gemeen, German gemein, Gothic gamains "common"), from PIE *ko-moin-i- "held in common," a compound adjective formed from collective prefix *ko- "together" (Proto-Germanic *ga-) + *moi-n-, suffixed form of PIE root *mei- "to change, exchange" (see mutable). Cf. second element in common (adj.), a word with a sense evolution parallel to that of this word.
Of things, "inferior, second-rate," from late 14c. (a secondary sense in Old English was "false, wicked"). Notion of "so-so, mediocre" led to confusion with mean (n.). Meaning "inferior in rank or status" (of persons) emerged early 14c.; that of "ordinary" from late 14c.; that of "stingy, nasty" first recorded 1660s; weaker sense of "disobliging, pettily offensive" is from 1839, originally American English slang. Inverted sense of "remarkably good" (i.e. plays a mean saxophone) first recorded c.1900, perhaps from phrase no mean _______ "not inferior" (1590s, also, "not average," reflecting further confusion with mean (n.)).
"that which is halfway between extremes," early 14c., from Old French meien "middle, means, intermediary," noun use of adjective from Latin medianus "of or that is in the middle" (see mean (adj.2)). Oldest sense is musical; mathematical sense is from c.1500. Some senes reflect confusion with mean (adj.1). This is the mean in by no means (late 15c.).
"calculate an arithemtical mean," 1882, from mean (n.).
"occupying a middle or intermediate place," mid-14c., from Anglo-French meines (plural), Old French meien, variant of moiien "mid-, medium, common, middle-class" (12c., Modern French moyen), from Late Latin medianus "of the middle," from Latin medius "in the middle" (see medial (adj.)). Meaning "intermediate in time" is from mid-15c. Mathematical sense is from late 14c.
In addition to the idioms beginning with mean
- mean business
- mean to
, also see under