• WordNet 3.6
    • adj mean of no value or worth "I was caught in the bastardly traffic"
    • adj mean (used of sums of money) so small in amount as to deserve contempt
    • adj mean (used of persons or behavior) characterized by or indicative of lack of generosity "a mean person","he left a miserly tip"
    • adj mean characterized by malice "a hateful thing to do","in a mean mood"
    • adj mean having or showing an ignoble lack of honor or morality "that liberal obedience without which your army would be a base rabble"- Edmund Burke","taking a mean advantage","chok'd with ambition of the meaner sort"- Shakespeare","something essentially vulgar and meanspirited in politics"
    • adj mean approximating the statistical norm or average or expected value "the average income in New England is below that of the nation","of average height for his age","the mean annual rainfall"
    • adj mean marked by poverty befitting a beggar "a beggarly existence in the slums","a mean hut"
    • adj mean excellent "famous for a mean backhand"
    • v mean have in mind as a purpose "I mean no harm","I only meant to help you","She didn't think to harm me","We thought to return early that night"
    • v mean destine or designate for a certain purpose "These flowers were meant for you"
    • v mean intend to refer to "I'm thinking of good food when I talk about France","Yes, I meant you when I complained about people who gossip!"
    • v mean denote or connote "`maison' means `house' in French","An example sentence would show what this word means"
    • v mean mean or intend to express or convey "You never understand what I mean!","what do his words intend?"
    • v mean have as a logical consequence "The water shortage means that we have to stop taking long showers"
    • v mean have a specified degree of importance "My ex-husband means nothing to me","Happiness means everything"
    • n mean an average of n numbers computed by adding some function of the numbers and dividing by some function of n
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Wot yer mean photographin' my wife Wot yer mean photographin' my wife
England and Wales, Mean Annual Rainfall England and Wales, Mean Annual Rainfall
He told them what he thought their dreams must mean He told them what he thought their dreams must mean

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: "Kemo Sabe" means "soggy shrub" in Navajo
    • Mean A mediator; a go-between. "He wooeth her by means and by brokage."
    • Mean (Mus) A part, whether alto or tenor, intermediate between the soprano and base; a middle part. "The mean is drowned with your unruly base."
    • Mean (Math) A quantity having an intermediate value between several others, from which it is derived, and of which it expresses the resultant value; usually, unless otherwise specified, it is the simple average, formed by adding the quantities together and dividing by their number, which is called an arithmetical mean. A geometrical mean is the nth root of the product of the n quantities being averaged.
    • Mean (Math) Average; having an intermediate value between two extremes, or between the several successive values of a variable quantity during one cycle of variation; as, mean distance; mean motion; mean solar day.
    • Mean Destitute of distinction or eminence; common; low; vulgar; humble. "Of mean parentage.""The mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself."
    • Mean Intermediate in excellence of any kind. "According to the fittest style of lofty, mean , or lowly."
    • Mean Meantime; meanwhile.
    • Mean Occupying a middle position; middle; being about midway between extremes. "Being of middle age and a mean stature."
    • Mean Of little value or account; worthy of little or no regard; contemptible; despicable. "The Roman legions and great Cæsar found
      Our fathers no mean foes."
    • Mean Of poor quality; as, mean fare.
    • Mean Penurious; stingy; close-fisted; illiberal; as, mean hospitality.
    • Mean Resources; property, revenue, or the like, considered as the condition of easy livelihood, or an instrumentality at command for effecting any purpose; disposable force or substance. "Your means are very slender, and your waste is great."
    • Mean That through which, or by the help of which, an end is attained; something tending to an object desired; intermediate agency or measure; necessary condition or coagent; instrument. "Their virtuous conversation was a mean to work the conversion of the heathen to Christ.""You may be able, by this mean , to review your own scientific acquirements.""Philosophical doubt is not an end, but a mean .""By this means he had them more at vantage.""What other means is left unto us."
    • Mean That which is mean, or intermediate, between two extremes of place, time, or number; the middle point or place; middle rate or degree; mediocrity; medium; absence of extremes or excess; moderation; measure. "But to speak in a mean , the virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude.""There is a mean in all things.""The extremes we have mentioned, between which the wellinstracted Christian holds the mean , are correlatives."
    • v. i Mean To have a purpose or intention.
    • Mean To have in the mind, as a purpose, intention, etc.; to intend; to purpose; to design; as, what do you mean to do? "What mean ye by this service ?""Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.""I am not a Spaniard
      To say that it is yours and not to mean it."
    • Mean To signify; to indicate; to import; to denote. "What mean these seven ewe lambs ?""Go ye, and learn what that meaneth ."
    • Mean Wanting dignity of mind; low-minded; base; destitute of honor; spiritless; as, a mean motive. "Can you imagine I so mean could prove,
      To save my life by changing of my love ?"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The word "sophomore" means "sophisticated moron."
    • mean To have in mind, view, or contemplation; intend; hence, to purpose or design.
    • mean To signify, or be intended to signify; indicate; import; denote.
    • mean To mention; tell; express.
    • mean To be minded or disposed; have intentions of some kind: usually joined with an adverb: as, he means well.
    • mean To have thought or ideas; have meaning.
    • mean To speak; talk.
    • mean Common; general.
    • mean Of a common or low origin, grade, quality, etc.; common; humble: as, a man of mean parentage; mean birth or origin; a mean abode.
    • mean Characteristic of or commonly pertaining to persons or things of low degree; common; inferior; poor; shabby: as, a mean appearance; mean dress.
    • mean Without dignity of mind; destitute of honor; low-minded; spiritless; base.
    • mean Niggardly; penurious; miserly; stingy.—
    • mean Of little value or account; low in worth or estimation; worthy of little or no regard; contemptible; despicable.
    • mean Disobliging; pettily offensive or unaccommodating; “small.” [Colloq.]
    • mean Abject. Low, etc. (see abject), paltry. See list under low.
    • mean Niggardly, Stingy, etc. (see penurious); sordid, selfish, close.
    • mean Occupying a middle position; midway between two extremes; median: now chiefly in certain technical uses. See phrases below.
    • mean Of medium size, extent, etc.; medium, middling, or moderate.
    • mean Coming between two events or points of time; intervening; intermediate: only in the phrase in the mean time or while.
    • mean Intermediate in a number of greater and less values, quantities, or amounts; forming an average between two or more terms of any kind; average; specifically, in mathematics, having a value which is a symmetrical function of other values of the same sort, such that, were all those other values to be equal, the value of the function would be equal to them all (compare II., 4): as, the mean breadth of a country; the mean distance of the earth from the sun.
    • n mean The middle point, place, or state between two extremes; a middle path or course; a middle or intermediate kind, quality, rate, or degree; hence, the avoidance of extremes; absence of excess; moderation.
    • n mean Intervening time; interval of time; interim; meantime.
    • n mean In music: A middle voice or voice-part, as the tenor or alto.
    • n mean The second of a set of viols; an alto.
    • n mean Either the second or the third string of a viol, the former being the small mean, and the latter the great mean.
    • n mean A quantity having a value intermediate between the values of other quantities; specifically, in mathematics, the average, or arithmetical mean, obtained by adding several quantities together and dividing the sum by their number. In general a mean is a quantity which depends upon certain other quantities according to any law which conforms to these two conditions: first, that, if the quantities which determine the mean should all be equal, the mean would be equal to any one of them; and second, that no transposition of the values of the determining quantities among themselves can alter the value of the mean. (See geometrical mean, below.) The ancients recognized ten kinds of mean (μεσότης, medietas), distinguished by ordinal numbers, to which Jordanus Nemora rius added an eleventh. Only the first four, the arithmetical, geometrical, harmonical, and contraharmonical, are true means.
    • n mean In logic, the middle term in a syllogism.
    • n mean A mediator; an intermediary; an agent; a broker; a go-between.
    • n mean A subservient agency or instrumentality; that which confers ability or opportunity to attain an end: now rare in the singular, the plural form being used with both singular and plural meanings: as, means of travel or of subsistence; by this means you will succeed.
    • n mean Causative agency or instrumentality; contributory aid or assistance; help; support: only in the plural form, in the phrase by means of, or by (or through) … means: as, we live by means of food; it came about through their means.
    • n mean Specifically plural Disposable resources; elements of ability or opportunity; especially, pecuniary resources; possessions; revenue; income.
    • n mean In any way; possibly; at all.
    • n mean Synonyms Mean, Medium, Average, Mediocrity. Mean and medium represent the middle point or degree. Mean is much used in mathematics. (See arithmetical mean, geometrical mean, etc., above.) Mean is also much used in morals: as, in conduct we are to observe the golden mean; Aristotle held that each virtue was a mean between vice of defect and a vice of excess. Medium has this latter sense, but is used chiefly in matters of practical life: as, goods that are a medium between the best and the poorest; a color that is a medium between two others. In this sense medium is much used as an adjective: as, a medium grade, color, price. Means is the form of mean that corresponds to medium when it stands for that which. by being between others, is the agency for communication, etc. As mean and medium generally imply simply two extremes, but may imply several quantities of different amounts or degrees, so average may imply simply two extremes, but generally implies several quantities of different amounts or degrees: as, the average of 3, 5, 7, and 9 is 6. The latter word has similar figurative uses: as, the man's education was better than the average. Mediocrity is now used only in an unfavorable sense, implying blame or contempt: as, talents not above mediocrity—that is, very moderate.
    • n mean Instrument, method, mode, way, expedient, resource, appliance.
    • mean To moan; lament; mourn; complain.
    • mean To bemoan; lament: used reflexively.
    • mean To demean; carry; conduct.
    • n mean The abscissa of the center of gravity of the variates or of the frequency polygon. It is found by the formula where V is the magnitude of any class, f its frequency, and n the number of variates.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Witchcraft means "Craft of the Wise Ones."
    • adj Mean mēn low in rank or birth: base: sordid: low in worth or estimation: of little value or importance: poor, humble: despicable
    • adj Mean mēn middle: coming between two others in size, degree, quantity, time, &c.: average: moderate
    • n Mean the middle point, quantity, value, or degree: : :
    • v.t Mean mēn to have in the mind or thoughts: to intend, to purpose: to signify
    • v.i Mean to have in the mind: to have meaning or disposition:—pr.p. mean′ing; pa.t. and pa.p. meant (ment)
    • adj Mean significant
    • v.i Mean mēn (Shak.) to lament, to moan.
    • n Mean (math.) a term interpolated between two terms of a series, and consequently intermediate in magnitude
    • n Mean (mus.) a middle voice or voice-part, as the tenor or alto, the second or third string in a viol: instrument or medium
    • n Mean (pl.) that by which anything is caused or brought to pass: income: estate: instrument
    • ***


  • Martin Amis
    Martin Amis
    “More will mean worse.”
  • E. M. Cioran
    E. M. Cioran
    “There is no means of proving it is preferable to be than not to be.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Life without meaning cannot be borne. We find a mission to which we're sworn”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Past tense means you used to be nervous.”
  • Mahatma Gandhi
    “Patience means self-suffering.”
  • Ambrose Bierce
    “A prejudice is a vagrant opinion without visible means of support.”


Lean and mean - An organisation that is lean and mean has no excess or unnecessary elements and is very competitive.
Man of means - A man, or woman, of means is wealthy.
Shades of meaning - Shades of meaning is a phrase used to describe the small, subtle differences in meaning between similar words or phrases; 'kid' and 'youth' both refer to young people, but carry differing views and ideas about young people.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. mene, AS. mǣne, wicked; akin to mān, a., wicked, n., wickedness, OS. mēn, wickedness, OHG. mein, G. meineid, perjury, Icel. mein, harm, hurt, and perh. to AS. gemǣne, common, general, D. gemeen, G. gemein, Goth. gamáins, and L. communis,. The AS. gemǣne, prob. influenced the meaning


In literature:

He works with moral means; the physician, with causal means.
"Psychotherapy" by Hugo Münsterberg
Before all things the means indicated must be definite and reliable.
"On Laboratory Arts" by Richard Threlfall
She did not mean to be dishonest, but it is so easy to be dishonest without meaning it when one is very poor!
"Orley Farm" by Anthony Trollope
The meaning of all this is very simple, and yet a meaning of intense significance.
"Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation" by S. D. Gordon
But I see to her some, and mean to.
"Janet's Love and Service" by Margaret M Robertson
A mean row of houses on the other side looked empty: there wasn't the smallest gleam of light in them.
"Chance" by Joseph Conrad
It's the meaning of it.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum
But what do you mean by saying they were not means to an end, but only discipline?
"Out in the Forty-Five" by Emily Sarah Holt
Yes: I mean what I say.
"Deerbrook" by Harriet Martineau
The word "moral" means what belongs or appertains to the mores.
"Folkways" by William Graham Sumner

In poetry:

It seemeth me too much
I do rehearse for such
A mean
And single scene.
"To The Dead Cardinal Of Westminster" by Francis Thompson
Thou meaning, couldst thou see,
Of all which dafteth thee;
So plain,
It mocks thy pain;
"Any Saint" by Francis Thompson
The earth-things have no name for us,
The ploughing means no more
Than that they like to walk the fields
Who plough them o'er.
"Love’s Way To Childhood" by Cale Young Rice
And yet within that self same race,
There are some valiant men;
Who gave both their time and means,
To remove this dreadful sin.
"From Degradation Through Supplication To Education. The Negro." by Frank Barbour Coffin
"Calm thee, my husband, calm thee now.
Heaven ne'er points out a deed,
But to the creature by whose means
Its action is decreed:
"A Ballad Of 1812" by Sarah Anne Curzon
But let them pass! To right your wrong,
Aspasia of the ardent South,
Your poet means to sing a song
With some prolixity of mouth.
"Black Lizzie" by Henry Kendall

In news:

Join Lynn Allen as she shares this means of cleaning up your drawings with AutoConstrain.
For the Anglicans involved, it will mean new doctrinal depths, say Anglicans who have trod that path before.
Less May Mean More For Federal Animal Disease Lab.
Art can mean so much.
And by "hosted," I mean the Aggies obliterated (destroyed, whipped, crushed) a team that traveled across the country to participate in their own slaughter.
No electricity means that there is no television and no computer to keep me awake all night like they normally do, and I can't remember a time in my life when I slept so well.
Using the Nixle service, anonymous tipsters can provide police with information by the following means texting TIP OAKLANDPD to 888777 from a cell phone.
No, I don't mean Satan.
The average age of a vehicle in the United States is 11 years, which means that many cars on the road today have been through more than a few winters.
Ray Suarez talks to Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal for more on what the case will mean for competition in the world of sports merchandise.
Shopping for zombie knives, Chinese riot gear and radiation pills gives a whole new meaning to what retailers have called Black Friday.
The Mean Green debut their new stadium but couldn't keep pace with Houston, losing 48-23.
We all know that OTA's don't really mean too much at this point, but it can still give you some insight on how things are going as the team prepares for training camp.
It was even OK by me that the show was faked, I mean, choreographed, sometimes.
Ringo means "apple" and sutta means "squeezed".

In science:

By “local” we mean that the energy differences |λp − λq | are of the order of a few mean level spacings.
Random Matrix Theory and Chiral Symmetry in QCD
Similarly, a positive ℓ∗ ⊥ means that the PHE has the same sign as the Verdet constant of the scatterers, and a negative ℓ∗ ⊥ means that the PHE has an opposite sign, which is also possible depending on the scattering.
Transport mean free path for Magneto-Transverse Light Diffusion: an alternative approach
For the completely ordered system which is usually described by a mean field approximation f (E , L) = δ(E − E0L), where E0 is mean field value (d∗E0 = kTcmf ), so that Eq.(2) gives well-known expression for orderdisorder ferroelectrics: Lmf = tanh(d∗E0Lmf /kT ) and T → Tcmf at Lmf → 0.
Phase diagram of mixed system of ferroelectric relaxors in the random field theory framework
In calculating the mean values it is useful to take explicitly into account the mean values of G± (E ).
Singular statistics
The mean of H over the g -ensemble is identically equal to the mean of h over the f -ensemble.
An Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation of Statistical physics Problem