verb (used with object), meant, mean·ing.
verb (used without object), meant, mean·ing.
- mealy bug,
- mean anomaly,
- mean business,
- mean calorie,
- mean cell hemoglobin,
- mean cell hemoglobin concentration
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.
Origin of mean3
Examples from the Web for means
As a means of preventing tooth decay in those cities that do fluoridate, the practice certainly looks like a success.
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|DAILY BEAST
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.
Infinite—this word is by no means the expression of a clear idea: it is merely the expression of an effort to attain one.
How if he should take this means of informing Joseph of his present situation?The Strange Story of Rab Rby|Mr Jkai
But it means bed for a fortnight or so, and you must go immediately.'A Great Man|Arnold Bennett
This is accomplished by means of an "interrupter" that either vibrates rapidly or "snaps" once at the formation of each spark.The Gasoline Motor|Harold Whiting Slauson
But to return for a time to the means taken to attract the notice of other ships.The Loss of the SS. Titanic|Lawrence Beesley
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.
In statistics, an average of a group of numbers or data points. With a group of numbers, the mean is obtained by adding them and dividing by the number of numbers in the group. Thus the mean of five, seven, and twelve is eight (twenty-four divided by three). (Compare median and mode.)
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