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Meaning of mean

mean

Pronunciation: (mēn), [key]
— v., meant, mean•ing.
—v.t.
  1. to have in mind as one's purpose or intention; intend: I meant to compliment you on your work.
  2. to intend for a particular purpose, destination, etc.: They were meant for each other.
  3. to intend to express or indicate: What do you mean by “liberal”?
  4. to have as its sense or signification; signify: The word “freedom” means many things to many people.
  5. to bring, cause, or produce as a result: This bonus means that we can take a trip to Florida.
  6. to have (certain intentions) toward a person: He didn't mean you any harm.
  7. to have the value of; assume the importance of: Money means everything to them. She means the world to him.
—v.i.
  1. to be minded or disposed; have intentions: Beware, she means ill, despite her solicitous manner.
  2. to have good intentions; try to be kind or helpful: Her constant queries about your health must be tiresome, but I'm sure she means well.

mean

Pronunciation: (mēn), [key]
— -er, -est.
  1. offensive, selfish, or unaccommodating; nasty; malicious: a mean remark; He gets mean when he doesn't get his way.
  2. small-minded or ignoble: mean motives.
  3. penurious, stingy, or miserly: a person who is mean about money.
  4. inferior in grade, quality, or character: no mean reward.
  5. low in status, rank, or dignity: mean servitors.
  6. of little importance or consequence: mean little details.
  7. unimposing or shabby: a mean abode.
  8. small, humiliated, or ashamed: You should feel mean for being so stingy.
  9. in poor physical condition.
  10. troublesome or vicious; bad-tempered: a mean old horse.
  11. skillful or impressive: He blows a mean trumpet.

mean

Pronunciation: (mēn), [key]
— n.
  1. Usually, an agency, instrument, or method used to attain an end: The telephone is a means of communication. There are several means of solving the problem.
  2. They lived beyond their means.
    1. available resources, esp. money:They lived beyond their means.
    2. considerable financial resources; riches:a man of means.
  3. something that is midway between two extremes; something intermediate: to seek a mean between cynicism and blind faith.
    1. a quantity having a value intermediate between the values of other quantities; an average, esp. the arithmetic mean.
    2. either the second or third term in a proportion of four terms.
  4. expected value. See(def. 2).
  5. the middle term in a syllogism.
  6. Go, by all means.
    1. (in emphasis) certainly:Go, by all means.
    2. at any cost; without fail.
  7. in any way; at all: We were not surprised at the news by any means.
  8. with the help of; by the agency of; through: We crossed the stream by means of a log.
  9. in no way; not at all: The prize is by no means certain.
—adj.
  1. occupying a middle position or an intermediate place, as in kind, quality, degree, or time: a mean speed; a mean course; the mean annual rainfall.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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