Definitions for: Mean


[n] an average of n numbers computed by adding some function of the numbers and dividing by some function of n
[adj] used of sums of money; so small in amount as to deserve contempt
[adj] used of persons or behavior; characterized by or indicative of lack of generosity; "a mean person"; "he left a miserly tip"
[adj] characterized by malice; "a hateful thing to do"; "in a mean mood"
[adj] 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] marked by poverty befitting a beggar; "a beggarly existence in the slums"; "a mean hut"
[adj] (slang) excellent; "famous for a mean backhand"
[v] denote or connote; "`maison' means `house' in French"; "An example sentence would show what this word means"
[v] 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] destine or designate for a certain purpose; "These flowers were meant for you"
[v] "I'm thinking of good food when I talk about France"; "Yes, I meant you when I complained about people who gossip!"
[v] mean or intend to express or convey; "You never understand what I mean!"; "what do his words intend?"
[v] have as a logical consequence; "The water shortage means that we have to stop taking long showers"
[v] have a specified degree of importance; "My ex-husband means nothing to me"; "Happiness means everything"



Webster (1913) Definition: Mean, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Meant; p. pr. & vb. n.
Meaning.] [OE. menen, AS. m[=ae]nan to recite, tell,
intend, wish; akin to OS. m[=e]nian to have in mind, mean, D.
meenen, G. meinen, OHG. meinan, Icel. meina, Sw. mena, Dan.
mene, and to E. mind. ?. See Mind, and cf. Moan.]
1. 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 ? --Ex. xii. 26.

Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto
good. --Gen. 1. 20.

I am not a Spaniard To say that it is yours and not
to mean it. --Longfellow.

2. To signify; to indicate; to import; to denote.

What mean these seven ewe lambs ? --Gen. xxi.
29.

Go ye, and learn what that me?neth. --Matt. ix.
13.


Mean, v. i.
To have a purpose or intention. [Rare, except in the phrase
to mean well, or ill.] --Shak.


Mean, a. [Compar. Meaner; superl. Meanest.] [OE.
mene, AS. m?ne wicked; akin to m[=a]n, a., wicked, n.,
wickedness, OS. m?n wickedness, OHG. mein, G. meineid
perjury, Icel. mein harm, hurt, and perh. to AS. gem?ne
common, general, D. gemeen, G. gemein, Goth. gam['a]ins, and
L. communis. The AS. gem?ne prob. influenced the meaning.]
1. Destitute of distinction or eminence; common; low; vulgar;
humble. ``Of mean parentage.'' --Sir P. Sidney.

The mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth
himself. --Is. ii. 9.

2. 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 ? --Dryden.

3. Of little value or account; worthy of little or no regard;
contemptible; despicable.

The Roman legions and great C[ae]sar found Our
fathers no mean foes. --J. Philips.

4. Of poor quality; as, mean fare.

5. Penurious; stingy; close-fisted; illiberal; as, mean
hospitality.

Note: Mean is sometimes used in the formation of compounds,
the sense of which is obvious without explanation; as,
meanborn, mean-looking, etc.

Syn: Base; ignoble; abject; beggarly; wretched; degraded;
degenerate; vulgar; vile; servile; menial; spiritless;
groveling; slavish; dishonorable; disgraceful; shameful;
despicable; contemptible; paltry; sordid. See Base.


Mean, a. [OE. mene, OF. meiien, F. moyen, fr. L. medianus
that is in the middle, fr. medius; akin to E. mid. See
Mid.]
1. Occupying a middle position; middle; being about midway
between extremes.

Being of middle age and a mean stature. --Sir. P.
Sidney.

2. Intermediate in excellence of any kind.

According to the fittest style of lofty, mean, or
lowly. --Milton.

3. (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 distance (of a planet from the sun) (Astron.), the
average of the distances throughout one revolution of the
planet, equivalent to the semi-major axis of the orbit.

Mean error (Math. Phys.), the average error of a number of
observations found by taking the mean value of the
positive and negative errors without regard to sign.

Mean-square error, or Error of the mean square (Math.
Phys.), the error the square of which is the mean of the
squares of all the errors; -- called also, especially by
European writers, mean error.

Mean line. (Crystallog.) Same as Bisectrix.

Mean noon, noon as determined by mean time.

Mean proportional (between two numbers) (Math.), the square
root of their product.

Mean sun, a fictitious sun supposed to move uniformly in
the equator so as to be on the meridian each day at mean
noon.

Mean time, time as measured by an equable motion, as of a
perfect clock, or as reckoned on the supposition that all
the days of the year are of a mean or uniform length, in
contradistinction from apparent time, or that actually
indicated by the sun, and from sidereal time, or that
measured by the stars.


Mean, n.
1. 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.
--Bacon.

There is a mean in all things. --Dryden.

The extremes we have mentioned, between which the
wellinstracted Christian holds the mean, are
correlatives. --I. Taylor.

2. (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
square root of the product of the quantities.

3. 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. --Hooker.

You may be able, by this mean, to review your own
scientific acquirements. --Coleridge.

Philosophical doubt is not an end, but a mean. --Sir
W. Hamilton.

Note: In this sense the word is usually employed in the
plural form means, and often with a singular attribute
or predicate, as if a singular noun.

By this means he had them more at vantage.
--Bacon.

What other means is left unto us. --Shak.

4. pl. Hence: 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. --Shak.

5. (Mus.) A part, whether alto or tenor, intermediate between
the soprano and base; a middle part. [Obs.]

The mean is drowned with your unruly base. --Shak.

6. Meantime; meanwhile. [Obs.] --Spenser.

7. A mediator; a go-between. [Obs.] --Piers Plowman.

He wooeth her by means and by brokage. --Chaucer.

By all means, certainly; without fail; as, go, by all
means.

By any means, in any way; possibly; at all.

If by any means I might attain to the resurrection
of the dead. --Phil. iii.
ll.


By no means, or By no manner of means, not at all;
certainly not; not in any degree.

The wine on this side of the lake is by no means so
good as that on the other. --Addison.

Synonyms: awful, base, beggarly, entail, hateful, have in mind, ignoble, imply, intend, intend, mean value, meanspirited, mingy, miserly, nasty, poor, signify, skilled, stand for, stingy, think, think of, tight, ungenerous

See Also: advert, aim, aim, arithmetic mean, associate, average, be after, bring up, cite, colligate, connect, convey, denote, design, designate, destine, drive, expectation, expected value, first moment, geometric mean, get, harmonic mean, impart, import, link, link up, mention, name, necessitate, norm, plan, propose, purport, purpose, refer, refer, relate, represent, specify, spell, symbolise, symbolize, tie in, typify, will, wish

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