by any means


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mean 1

 (mēn)
v. meant (mĕnt), mean·ing, means
v.tr.
1.
a. To be used to convey; denote: "'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things'" (Lewis Carroll).
b. To act as a symbol of; signify or represent: In this poem, the budding flower means youth.
2. To intend to convey or indicate: "No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous" (Henry Adams).
3. To have as a purpose or an intention; intend: I meant to go running this morning, but I overslept.
4. To design, intend, or destine for a certain purpose or end: a building that was meant for storage; a student who was meant to be a scientist.
5. To have as a consequence; bring about: Friction means heat.
6. To have the importance or value of: The opinions of the critics meant nothing to him. She meant so much to me.
v.intr.
To have intentions of a specified kind; be disposed: They mean well but lack tact.
Idiom:
mean business Informal
To be in earnest.

[Middle English menen, from Old English mǣnan, to tell of; see mei-no- in Indo-European roots.]

mean 2

 (mēn)
adj. mean·er, mean·est
1.
a. Lacking in kindness; unkind: The teacher was not being mean in asking you to be quiet.
b. Cruel, spiteful, or malicious: a mean boy who liked to make fun of others.
c. Expressing spite or malice: gave me a mean look.
d. Tending toward or characterized by cruelty or violence: mean streets.
e. Extremely unpleasant or disagreeable: the meanest storm in years.
2. Ignoble; base: a mean motive. See Synonyms at base2.
3. Miserly; stingy: mean with money.
4.
a. Low in value, rank, or social status: "I preferred the condition of the meanest reptile to my own" (Frederick Douglass).
b. Common or poor in appearance; shabby: "The rowhouses had been darkened by the rain and looked meaner and grimmer than ever" (Anne Tyler).
5. Slang
a. Hard to cope with; difficult or troublesome: He throws a mean fast ball.
b. Excellent; skillful: She plays a mean game of bridge.

[Middle English, from Old English gemǣne, common; see mei- in Indo-European roots.]

mean′ness n.

mean 3

 (mēn)
n.
1. Something having a position, quality, or condition midway between extremes; a medium.
2. Mathematics
a. A number that typifies a set of numbers, such as a geometric mean or an arithmetic mean.
b. The average value of a set of numbers.
3. Logic The middle term in a syllogism.
4. means(used with a sing. or pl. verb) A method, a course of action, or an instrument by which an act can be accomplished or an end achieved.
5. means(used with a pl. verb)
a. Money, property, or other wealth: You ought to live within your means.
b. Great wealth: a woman of means.
adj.
1. Occupying a middle or intermediate position between two extremes.
2. Intermediate in size, extent, quality, time, or degree; medium.
Idioms:
by all means
Without fail; certainly.
by any means
In any way possible; to any extent: not by any means an easy opponent.
by means of
With the use of; owing to: They succeeded by means of patience and sacrifice.
by no means
In no sense; certainly not: This remark by no means should be taken lightly.

[Middle English mene, middle, from Old French meien, from Latin mediānus, from medius; see medhyo- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: In the sense of "financial resources" means takes a plural verb: His means are more than adequate. In the sense of "a way to an end," means may be treated as a singular or plural. It is singular when referring to a particular strategy or method: The best means of securing the cooperation of the builders is to appeal to their self-interest. It is plural when it refers to a group of strategies or methods: The most effective means for dealing with the drug problem have often been those suggested by the affected communities. · Means is most often followed by of: a means of noise reduction. But for, to, and toward are also used: a means for transmitting sound; a means to an end; a means toward achieving equality.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.by any means - in any way necessary; "I'll pass this course by hook or by crook"
References in classic literature ?
It aims to express the inner truth or central principles of things, without anxiety for minor details, and it is by nature largely intellectual in quality, though not by any means to the exclusion of emotion.
Neither Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, nor Georgia can by any means be compared with the models from which he reasoned and to which the terms of his description apply.
She was almost at the door, and not chusing by any means to take so much trouble in vain, she still went on, after a civil reception, a short sentence about being waited for, and a "Let Sir Thomas know" to the servant.