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mean 1

v. meant (mĕnt), mean·ing, means
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.
To have intentions of a specified kind; be disposed: They mean well but lack tact.
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

adj. mean·er, mean·est
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.
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

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.
1. Occupying a middle or intermediate position between two extremes.
2. Intermediate in size, extent, quality, time, or degree; medium.
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.


The following adjectives can also be used in both British and American English to describe someone who does not spend much money:

1. neutral words

Economical and frugal are neutral words.

Spaghetti, ravioli, and noodles have for years been the staple dishes of economical Italian countryfolk.
Make some stringent economies, be as frugal as a monk.
2. 'thrifty'

Thrifty is a complimentary word.

The people were industrious and very thrifty.
3. words shoing disapproval

Miserly, parsimonious, penny-pinching, stingy, tight, and tight-fisted are used to show disapproval. Parsimonious is a formal word.

He was a bit showy with money and overtipped for fear of being thought stingy.
At home he was churlish, parsimonious, and unloving to his daughters.

Penny-pinching is used mainly by journalists and public speakers.

He said the Government's penny-pinching policies were causing loss of life.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.meanness - the quality of being deliberately meanmeanness - the quality of being deliberately mean
malevolency, malice, malevolence - the quality of threatening evil
2.meanness - extreme stinginessmeanness - extreme stinginess      
stinginess - a lack of generosity; a general unwillingness to part with money
littleness, pettiness, smallness - lack of generosity in trifling matters
miserliness - total lack of generosity with money


1. miserliness, parsimony, stinginess, tight-fistedness, niggardliness, selfishness, minginess (Brit. informal), penuriousness This careful attitude to money can border on meanness.
4. shabbiness, squalor, insignificance, pettiness, wretchedness, seediness, tawdriness, sordidness, scruffiness, humbleness, poorness, paltriness, beggarliness, contemptibleness the meanness of our surroundings
"Do not spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar"


دَناءَه، حَقارَه


[ˈmiːnnɪs] N
1. (= stinginess) → tacañería f, mezquindad f
2. (= nastiness) → maldad f, vileza f
3. (= humbleness) → humildad f


[ˈmiːnnɪs] n
(= stinginess) → avarice f
(= nastiness) → méchanceté f
(literary) (= poverty) → dénuement m


(esp Brit: = miserliness) → Geiz m, → Knauserigkeit f
(= unkindness, spite)Gemeinheit f
(= baseness: of birth, motives) → Niedrigkeit f
(= shabbiness)Schäbigkeit f, → Armseligkeit f
(= viciousness)Bösartigkeit f; (of look)Gehässigkeit f, → Hinterhältigkeit f; (of criminal)Niedertracht f


[ˈmiːnnɪs] n (see adj) → avarizia, spilorceria, meschinità f inv, cattiveria, perfidia


(miːn) adjective
1. not generous (with money etc). He's very mean (with his money / over pay).
2. likely or intending to cause harm or annoyance. It is mean to tell lies.
3. (especially American) bad-tempered, vicious or cruel. a mean mood.
4. (of a house etc) of poor quality; humble. a mean dwelling.
ˈmeanly adverb
ˈmeanness noun
meanie noun
(also meany) (slang) a mean, bad and selfish person.
References in classic literature ?
John is above such meanness, and I won't listen to you a minute if you talk so," cried Meg indignantly, forgetting everything but the injustice of the old lady's suspicions.
No matter for the money," said she, giving him a little push towards the door; for her old gentility was contumaciously squeamish at sight of the copper coin, and, besides, it seemed such pitiful meanness to take the child's pocket-money in exchange for a bit of stale gingerbread.
Tan't that you care one bit more, or have a bit more feelin'--it's clean, sheer, dog meanness, wanting to cheat the devil and save your own skin; don't I see through it?
Thus, under the name of Order and Civil Government, we are all made at last to pay homage to and support our own meanness.
still to the commoner, always to the commoner) pa- tience, meanness of spirit, non-resistance under op- pression; and she introduced heritable ranks and aristocracies, and taught all the Christian populations of the earth to bow down to them and worship them.
Not to give a slave enough to eat, is regarded as the most aggravated development of meanness even among slaveholders.
She had seen enough of her pride, her meanness, and her determined prejudice against herself, to comprehend all the difficulties that must have perplexed the engagement, and retarded the marriage, of Edward and herself, had he been otherwise free;--and she had seen almost enough to be thankful for her OWN sake, that one greater obstacle preserved her from suffering under any other of Mrs.
No; they not only live, but reign and redeem: and without their divine influence spread everywhere, you would be in hell--the hell of your own meanness.
I greatly fear he has declined -- in which case I can lay my hand on my heart, and solemnly declare that his meanness revolts me.
It was not that he had lost his good looks, or his old bearing of a gentleman - for that he had not - but the thing that struck me most, was, that with the evidences of his native superiority still upon him, he should submit himself to that crawling impersonation of meanness, Uriah Heep.
As a matter of course, they fawned upon me in my prosperity with the basest meanness.
She could not indeed imitate his excess of subservience, because she was a stranger to the meanness of mind, and to the constant state of timid apprehension, by which it was dictated; but she bore herself with a proud humility, as if submitting to the evil circumstances in which she was placed as the daughter of a despised race, while she felt in her mind the consciousness that she was entitled to hold a higher rank from her merit, than the arbitrary despotism of religious prejudice permitted her to aspire to.