lean: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (lēn), [key]
— v., n. leaned leant lean&syling
  1. to incline or bend from a vertical position: She leaned out the window.
  2. to incline, as in a particular direction; slant: The post leans to the left. The building leaned sharply before renovation.
  3. to incline in feeling, opinion, action, etc.: to lean toward socialism.
  4. to rest against or on something for support: to lean against a wall.
  5. to depend or rely (usually fol. by on or upon): someone he could lean on in an emergency.
  1. to incline or bend: He leaned his head forward.
  2. to cause to lean or rest; prop: to lean a chair against the railing.
  3. The state is leaning on the company to clean up its industrial wastes.
    1. to exert influence or pressure on in order to gain cooperation, maintain discipline, or the like:The state is leaning on the company to clean up its industrial wastes.
    2. to criticize, reprimand, or punish:I would have enjoyed school more if the teachers hadn't leaned on me so much.
  4. See(def. 15).
  1. the act or state of leaning; inclination: The tower has a pronounced lean.


Pronunciation: (lēn), [key]
— adj., n. -er, -est,
  1. (of persons or animals) without much flesh or fat; not plump or fat; thin: lean cattle.
  2. (of edible meat) containing little or no fat.
  3. lacking in richness, fullness, quantity, etc.; poor: a lean diet; lean years.
  4. spare; economical: a lean prose style.
  5. (of a mixture in a fuel system) having a relatively low ratio of fuel to air (contrasted with rich).
  6. (of paint) having more pigment than oil. Cf. fat (def. 12).
  7. (of a bow) having fine lines; sharp.
  8. (of ore) having a low mineral content; low-grade.
  1. the part of flesh that consists of muscle rather than fat.
  2. the lean part of anything.
  3. matter that is difficult to set because of complexity or intermixed fonts. Cf. fat (def. 25).


Pronunciation: (lēn), [key]
— n.
  1. 1908–91, British film director.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
See also: