verb (used with object), meant, mean·ing.
verb (used without object), meant, mean·ing.
Origin of mean1
Related Words for meantrepresent, suggest, spell, say, portend, involve, indicate, imply, promise, determine, propose, make, aim, design, expect, want, anticipate, plan, herald, argue
Examples from the Web for meant
Contemporary Examples of meant
I meant no harm by it, but I remembered how this person talked, and I did it for my Mom and she was not into it.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
Nothing in it was meant to change the basic operations of the capitalist economy or to intervene aggressively in class relations.Thank Congress, Not LBJ for Great Society
Julian Zelizer, Scott Porch
January 4, 2015
Who knew that “we shall overcome” meant “we, the few, shall book covers every decade or so, maybe, sometimes, if we are in style.”One Vogue Cover Doesn’t Solve Fashion’s Big Race Problem
January 2, 2015
The Moscow protest was not sanctioned, which meant every participant risked arrest.Russia’s Rebel In Chief Escapes House Arrest
December 30, 2014
In general, their presence is meant to throw you off your game by design.Brie Larson’s Hollywood Transformation
December 29, 2014
Historical Examples of meant
This explosion of the doctor's meant that he invited and awaited some contradiction.
He feared now she meant to lose it irrevocably through remarriage.
Of course, that was to be said, but strangely enough he meant it.
There were fourteen thousand waiters in New York, if, by waiters, you meant any one.
When he set out he meant to reach the car and go back to town at once.
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
past participle of mean (v.).
"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