• Two girls lean out of a window to feed birds
    Two girls lean out of a window to feed birds
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj lean lacking excess flesh "you can't be too rich or too thin","Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look"-Shakespeare"
    • adj lean not profitable or prosperous "a lean year"
    • adj lean lacking in mineral content or combustible material "lean ore","lean fuel"
    • adj lean containing little excess "a lean budget","a skimpy allowance"
    • v lean rely on for support "We can lean on this man"
    • v lean cause to lean or incline "He leaned his rifle against the wall"
    • v lean to incline or bend from a vertical position "She leaned over the banister"
    • v lean cause to lean to the side "Erosion listed the old tree"
    • v lean have a tendency or disposition to do or be something; be inclined "She tends to be nervous before her lectures","These dresses run small","He inclined to corpulence"
    • n lean the property possessed by a line or surface that departs from the vertical "the tower had a pronounced tilt","the ship developed a list to starboard","he walked with a heavy inclination to the right"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Willie looks out of the window, leaning on his hands on the ledge Willie looks out of the window, leaning on his hands on the ledge
Bessie leans around the edge of the door Bessie leans around the edge of the door
Dad Leaned Against a Lamp Post and Scratched his Back 364 Dad Leaned Against a Lamp Post and Scratched his Back 364
So Straight he Leaned Backward 211 So Straight he Leaned Backward 211
A woman leans against a letter B A woman leans against a letter B
A man leans against a letter G A man leans against a letter G
An angel looks down, a smaller angel leans on her shoulder An angel looks down, a smaller angel leans on her shoulder
A woman leans against a wall that encases the Eigth stanza A woman leans against a wall that encases the Eigth stanza

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Leaning Tower of Pisa is 58.36 metres above the ground
    • Lean (Typog) Of a character which prevents the compositor from earning the usual wages; -- opposed to fat; as, lean copy, matter, or type.
    • Lean That part of flesh which consists principally of muscle without the fat. "The fat was so white and the lean was so ruddy."
    • v. t Lean To cause to lean; to incline; to support or rest. "His fainting limbs against an oak he leant ."
    • v. t Lean lēn To conceal.
    • Lean To incline in opinion or desire; to conform in conduct; -- with to toward, etc. "They delight rather to lean to their old customs."
    • Lean To incline, deviate, or bend, from a vertical position; to be in a position thus inclining or deviating; as, she leaned out at the window; a leaning column. "He leant forward."
    • Lean To rest or rely, for support, comfort, and the like; -- with on upon, or against. "He leaned not on his fathers but himself."
    • Lean (Typog) Unremunerative copy or work.
    • Lean Wanting flesh; destitute of or deficient in fat; slim; not plump; slender; meager; thin; lank; as, a lean body; a lean cattle.
    • Lean Wanting fullness, richness, sufficiency, or productiveness; deficient in quality or contents; slender; scant; barren; bare; mean; -- used literally and figuratively; as, the lean harvest; a lean purse; a lean discourse; lean wages. "No lean wardrobe.""Their lean and flashy songs.""What the land is, whether it be fat or lean .""Out of my lean and low ability
      I'll lend you something."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: There are 293 steps to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
    • lean To incline or deviate from a vertical position or line; deviate from an erect position; take or have an inclining posture or direction; bend or stoop out of line: as, the column leans to the north; the leaning tower of Pisa; to lean against a wall or over a balustrade.
    • lean To deviate from a straight or straightforward line; turn: as, the road leans to the right.
    • lean To depend, as for support or comfort: usually with on or upon: as, to lean on one's arm; to lean on the help of a friend.
    • lean To bow or bend in submission; yield.
    • lean To incline, as in feeling or opinion; tend, as in conduct: as, he leans toward fatalism.
    • lean To incline for support or rest.
    • n lean Deviation from a vertical position; inclination.
    • lean Scant of flesh; not fat or plump; spare; thin; lank: as, a lean body.
    • lean Free from fat; consisting only or chiefly of solid flesh or muscle: as, lean meat; the lean part of a steak.
    • lean Lacking in substance or in that which gives value; poor or scanty in essential qualities or contents; bare; barren; meager: as, a lean discourse; a lean purse; lean soil; lean trees.
    • lean Exhibiting or producing leanness.
    • lean Among printers, unprofitable; consuming extra time or labor. Lean work is work which takes more time than other work paid for at the same rate. Lean type is type which is so thin as to require an unusual number of letters to fill a certain space. The standard widths (as declared by the typographical unions of the United States) of the full alphabet of 26 lower-case letters are the spaces occupied by 12 ems or squares of its own body for each size from pica to bourgeois; 13 ems for brevier and minion, 14 for nonpareil, 15 for agate, 16 for pearl, and 17 for diamond. Types whose alphabets do not reach these measures are lean or lean-faced.
    • lean Synonyms Spare, lank, gaunt, skinny, poor, emaciated.
    • n lean That part of flesh which consists of muscle without fat.
    • n lean Any flesh that adheres to the blubber of a whale: same as fat-lean.
    • n lean Among printers, unprofitable work.
    • lean To become lean.
    • lean To make lean: as, the climate leans one very soon.
    • lean In whaling, to remove the Lean or flesh from (blubber) with the leaning-knife.
    • lean See lain.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Construction on the Leaning Tower of Pisa began on August 9th, 1173
    • v.i Lean lēn to incline or bend: to turn from a straight line: to rest against: to incline towards
    • pr.p Lean lean′ing; pa.t. and pa.p. leaned or leant (lent)
    • adj Lean lēn thin, wanting flesh: not fat: unprofitable, taking extra time—a printer's phrase
    • n Lean flesh without fat
    • ***


  • Eric Hoffer
    “The world leans on us. When we sag, the whole world seems to droop.”
  • Edmund Burke
    “Laws, like houses, lean on one another.”
  • Stephen R. Covey
    “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “In case of doubt we should always lean on the side of mercy.”
  • Denis Waitley
    “You must learn from your past mistakes, but not lean on your past successes.”
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher
    Dorothy Canfield Fisher
    “A mother is not a person to lean on but person to make leaning unnecessary.”


Lean and mean - An organisation that is lean and mean has no excess or unnecessary elements and is very competitive.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. lenen, AS. hlinian, hleonian, (v. i.); akin to OS. hlinōn, D. leunen, OHG. hlinēn, linēn, G. lehnen, L. inclinare, Gr. kli`nein, L. clivus, hill, slope. √40. Cf. Declivity Climax Incline Ladder


In literature:

He leaned down toward Johnnie, and thrust out that lower lip.
"The Rich Little Poor Boy" by Eleanor Gates
Leaning against the table, I looked at him.
"Nobody's Boy" by Hector Malot
She leaned against the door; she even leaned her head against the door.
"The Goose Man" by Jacob Wassermann
This consisted merely of throwing together a brush lean-to.
"The Ranger Boys and the Border Smugglers" by Claude A. Labelle
Wilhelmine's eyes were wet, while she leaned her head against the back of the oaken pew.
"A German Pompadour" by Marie Hay
At nine there came to his summons the little, lean, brown man, Rose's uncle.
"The Creators" by May Sinclair
The clergyman went over to the fire, leaned his arms on the mantelpiece, and rested his head on them.
"Tongues of Conscience" by Robert Smythe Hichens
Encouraged, he went to her and leaned against her knee; she brushed his hair back off his forehead, just as she always did.
"Frank of Freedom Hill" by Samuel A. Derieux
He leaned over his mother and smoothed her hair tenderly.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine
The man was a soldier, who leaned against the wall and did not speak.
"The Son of Monte Christo" by Jules Lermina

In poetry:

The leaves are shivering on the thorn,
And sighing wakes the lean-eyed morn,
"Woman’s Portion" by Madison Julius Cawein
"O love, lean thou thy cheek to mine,
And let the tears together flow"—
Such was the song you sang to me
Once, long ago.
"To Sylvia" by Amy Levy
"That life must walk uncomforted,
That leans not on His breast:
They only know that God is Love
Who learn that God is Rest."
"The Unseen Preacher" by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
Then, darling, rest upon my breast,
And teach my heart to lean
With thy sweet trust upon the arm
Which folds us both unseen!
"The Sisters - A Picture" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Now by the brook the maple leans
With all his glory spread,
And all the sumachs on the hills
Have turned their green to red.
"Indian Summer" by William Wilfred Campbell
Or at evening there
When the faint slow light stays,
And far below
Sleeps the last lingering sound,
And night leans all round.
"English Hills" by John Freeman

In news:

Two passersby warily examine the lower half of a mannequin that stood leaning against a tree on Summers Street in Charleston.
Twins Lean On Family Support, Each Other.
Even without a back, bookshelves constructed with tight sliding dovetails are free of wobbling or leaning out of square.
Breathe, lean back, drift away .
Dry Ice Blast Cleaning Promotes Lean and Green Manufacturing.
Grasp dumbbells in each hand and lean forward, maintaining a long spine.
Man injured on Metro platform after leaning into moving train.
2 pounds lean, ground chili meat.
Dustin Hoffman Kisses Jason Bateman For The Kiss Cam Jason Bateman and Dustin Hoffman lean in for a comical kiss for the cams.
This low-fat recipe from chef Bobby Deen is packed with vegetables and lean protein.
' The teen's pretty voice leads the lyrics as they unfold on screen in lean, clean, capital letters.
This makes getting lean a constant, discouraging struggle.
Cincinnati Ballet's season opener offers crowd-pleasing, modern-leaning good time.
My biggest eye opener relating to the building business — Lean Tuesday with Todd Hallett.
Family and friends were on a party bus operated by Five Star Limousine when Angie Hernandez leaned against an emergency window and fell out, said Lieutenant Robert King with Portland Police Bureau.

In science:

The red, left leaning hatching shows the variation of ˆγ due to a ±1σ systematic shift in the energies (see §3.2) while the opposite, blue hatching shows the statistical error of the estimator ˆγ , see §3.1.
Statistical Tools for Analyzing the Cosmic Ray Energy Spectrum
Current practices in evaluating tree estimates lean on unidimensional summaries giving the proportion of times a clade occurs.
Computational Tools for Evaluating Phylogenetic and Hierarchical Clustering Trees
These use the parametric Markovian models to find the distances between species and then lean on various heuristic criteria to build a binary tree from these distances.
Computational Tools for Evaluating Phylogenetic and Hierarchical Clustering Trees
There, finding ways of moving around on the space of data sets with given sufficient statistics leaned on tools from computational algebra (Gr¨obner bases).
Sampling From A Manifold
To summarize it is sometimes said that we lean by approximation: radical interpretation is a prescientific theory which hopes to describe and perhaps ultimately model how, by iterative approximation, we learn what meaning is.
Does Meaning Evolve?