air, bearing, or demeanor, as showing character, feeling, etc.: a man of noble mien.

Origin of mien

1505–15; probably aphetic variant of obsolete demean bearing, demean2; spelled with -ie- to distinguish it from mean2
Can be confusedmean mien

Synonyms for mien

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mien

Contemporary Examples of mien

Historical Examples of mien

  • He desisted at last and looked back at us with a mien of anger.

  • Kirkwood turned to meet her onslaught with a mien grave, determined, unflinching.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • He was a good stout knight, but sorrowful of face and downcast of mien.

  • And yet he stood in awe of that Virgin, so like a princess in her mien.

  • Like the spectators at the time, we cannot pity Socrates; his mien and his language are so noble and fearless.



British Dictionary definitions for mien



literary a person's manner, bearing, or appearance, expressing personality or mooda noble mien

Word Origin for mien

C16: probably variant of obsolete demean appearance; related to French mine aspect
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mien

"facial expression," 1510s, probably a shortening of Middle English demean "bearing, demeanor" (see demeanor) and influenced by Middle French mine "appearance, facial expression," which is of unknown origin, possibly Celtic (cf. Breton min "beak, muzzle, nose," Irish men "mouth").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper