verb (used with object), meant, mean·ing.
verb (used without object), meant, mean·ing.
Origin of mean1
- 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.
- (in emphasis) certainly: Go, by all means.
- at any cost; without fail.
Origin of mean3
Related Words for meansvehicle, medium, power, equipment, process, route, technique, system, mechanism, instrument, step, mode, tactic, measure, factor, channel, aid, money, fashion, agent
Examples from the Web for means
Contemporary Examples of means
As a means of preventing tooth decay in those cities that do fluoridate, the practice certainly looks like a success.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
And in order for them to realize their vision, they are willing to use any means.Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Our Duty Is to Keep Charlie Hebdo Alive
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
January 8, 2015
With that, there is no means to consistently measure progress.
Part of the problem is the mandate of the war and the means with which the U.S. is fighting it do not match up.
And that means they also fall under the umbrella of programs most likely to get the axe when state and federal budgets are tight.How to Solve the Policing Crisis
January 5, 2015
Historical Examples of means
Your life must be saved; even if you reprove me for the means.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
I suspect that she was the means of influencing so large a purchase.
I know all about that, and who was the means of having him sent away.
He was not by any means an ideal monk, but he was equally far from being a scandal.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
It means the "science of the sound which is made by our speech."Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
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
"course of action," late 14c., from mean (n.); sense of "wealth" is first recorded c.1600. Cf. French moyens, German Mittel. Phrase by no means attested from late 15c.; means-test is from 1930.
"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.
see beyond one's means; by all means; by any means; by means of; by no means; end justifies the means.
In addition to the idioms beginning with mean
- mean business
- mean to
, also see under