From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishldoce_732_zmeanmean1 /miːn/ ●●●S1W1 verb [transitive] (past tense and past participle meant /ment/)1have a particular meaningMEANING to have or represent a particular meaningWhat does ‘patronizing’ mean?The red light means ‘Stop’.The report fails to define what is meant by the term ‘key issues’.mean (that)This light means you’re running low on fuel.RegisterIn written English, people often prefer to say that something indicates something is the case, rather than using mean:The light indicates that fuel supplies are low.2intend to say somethingMEANING to intend a particular meaning when you say somethingmean (that)I meant we’d have to leave early – that’s all.It’s pretty obvious what she means.(do) you mean spoken (=used to check you have understood what someone intended to say)Do you mean you’ve changed or Chris has changed?do/if you know/see what I mean? spoken (=used to check that someone understands you)I want to buy her something really special, if you know what I mean.We’re still married but living apart in the same house, if you see what I mean.Oh yeah! I see what you mean (=I understand what you are trying to say).What I mean is, I don’t feel alone anymore (=used to explain more about what you have said).‘I didn’t really like him.’ 'I know what you mean, I didn’t get on with him either (=used to say you understand and have had the same experience).‘In three hours’ time, I’ll be a free man.‘ ’How do you mean (=used to ask someone to explain what they have just said)?'3intend to do somethingINTEND to intend to do something or intend that someone else should do somethingmean to do somethingI’ve been meaning to ask you if you want to come for a meal next week.I didn’t mean to upset you.mean somebody/something to do somethingI didn’t mean this to happen at all.I never meant you to find out.mean for somebody to do something especially American EnglishI didn’t mean for her to get hurt.I’m sure she didn’t mean it (=she did not intend to upset or hurt someone).mean no harm/offence/disrespect (=not intend to harm, offend etc someone)I’m sure he didn’t mean any harm.He may sound a bit rude at times, but he means well (=intends to be helpful or kind, even if it does not seem like that).I wasn’t criticizing you, I really meant it for the best (=wanted to be helpful, although my actions had the wrong effect).4result in somethingRESULT to have a particular result or involve somethingThe merger will mean the closure of the company’s Sydney office.Don’t let him see you. It will only mean trouble.mean (that)The high cost of housing means that many young people can’t afford to buy a house.mean doing somethingMy new job will mean travelling all over the world.Dieting also means being careful about which foods you buy.5be familiar if a name, word etc means something to you, you are familiar with it or you understand itHe said his name was ‘Randall’ but it meant nothing to me (=I was not familiar with it).Does the name Bryce mean anything to you?You need to use analogies which will mean something to the reader.6say something seriouslySERIOUS/NOT JOKING to be serious about what you are saying or writingWith children, if you say ‘no’, you have to mean it.I meant what I said earlier.You don’t really mean that, do you?7how important somebody/something is used for saying how important someone or something is to youmean something to somebodyI know how much your work means to you.The medal meant a lot to him.mean the world to somebody/mean everything to somebody (=be very important to someone)He meant the world to her.Time meant nothing (=it was not important) to me while I was travelling.Of course the relationship meant something to me.8show something is true/will happenTRUE to be a sign that something is true or will happenmean (that)Finding a lump does not necessarily mean you have cancer.Clear skies mean that it will be a cold night.Just because he’s been in prison, it doesn’t mean that he’s violent.SPOKEN PHRASES9 →what do you mean ...?10say which person/thingESPECIALLY used to say that a particular person or thing is the one that you are talking about, pointing to etc‘Hey you!’ ‘Do you mean me?’I meant the pink dress, not the red one.11 →I mean12 →see what I mean?13 →that’s what I mean14 →I mean to say15 →mean business16 →be meant to do something17 →be meant to be good/excellent/bad etc18 →be meant for somebody/something19 →be meant for somebody20 →somebody was never meant for something/to be something21 →something was meant to be/happen22 →know/understand what it means to be somethingGRAMMAR: Using the progressiveMean is not used in the progressive in any of its senses, except for sense 3. You say: What does this word mean?This means trouble.✗Don’t say: What is this word meaning? | This is meaning trouble.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
mean• She's kind of irritable, if you know what I mean.• Do you know what "ambidextrous" means?• He said Sarah was a very close friend, but I'm not sure what he meant.• High interest rates and high inflationmean a recession is not far away.• It says "not suitable for children", which means anyone under 16.• The strength of the poundmeansbikes are much cheaper to buy on the continent than over here.• "Poultry" meanschickens, ducks, turkeys, and geese.• In practice this means for men.• Does this mean I can't go to the wedding?• I mean it - I'll scream if you don't let me go.• Just because it's red doesn't mean it's cherry-flavored.• His new responsibilities at work mean Leroy will rarely see his children.• Cloudy water from the taps usually means problems with your storagetank.• If A is false, does that also meanpropositionB is false?• Dark clouds usually meanrain.• Her car's not there, so that must mean she's gone to pick him up.• Frank's surgeryresidencymeans staying in Albuquerque another five years.• "Downsizing" simply means that firms are tending to buy smaller computers to do jobs which used to require big ones.• Bush's tax cuts and the slowingeconomymean that Pentagon policy choices will have to be made this year.• Since the amount of information to be conveyed remains much the same this means that the signal-to-noise ratio will be worse.• I meant that we would have to leave early, that's all.• A free economy does not mean the absence of any economic control.• Oh, you mean the blue shorts.• It is much quicker, and it means the same, if we say Yes I do or Yes I think so.• That was the point Henry Hyde meant to make about opinionpolls.• Similarly, some words which are meant to stir can leave others unmoved.• And I meant what I said about you at the start of this.• I meant what I said, I never want to see you again.mean (that)• It means accepting power as natural and necessary to decision making regardless of formalstructure.• In terms of the Chart this meanscontrolling the order in which hypotheses are taken off the Agenda and added to the search space.• Maybe Claire means it's all right, she only needs one more hanky.• You talk of family and you mean one ruthless and callousrenegade.• It's not a problem, it just means that we can't use this information.• In the home this usually means the telephone line, which is fine for voice but excruciatingly slow for data.• Their life tenuremeans they defypatronage.• But that means you have to fight so damn hard to get even with the system.• I mean, you've heard all his New Age stuff about them being soulmates destined for each other.I know what you mean• But I knew what he meant.• I saw the way Rohan looked at you. I knew what it meant.• Looking for family-right, Aunt Marie, I know what you mean.• Now I knew what they meant.• Oh, I know what you mean.• She didn't say which few, but I knew what she meant.meant it for the best• I only meant it for the best.mean (that)• It means accepting power as natural and necessary to decision making regardless of formal structure.• In terms of the Chart this means controlling the order in which hypotheses are taken off the Agenda and added to the search space.• Maybe Claire means it's all right, she only needs one more hanky.• You talk of family and you mean one ruthless and callous renegade.• In the home this usually means the telephone line, which is fine for voice but excruciatingly slow for data.• Their life tenure means they defy patronage.• But that means you have to fight so damn hard to get even with the system.• I mean, you've heard all his New Age stuff about them being soul mates destined for each other.mean something to• But she couldn't let him see that it had meant something to her.• He is willing to extend his generosity to people who mean something to him or are of the same religion.• It may have been at this time that the name Saladin began to mean something to him.• Old Eddymeant something to him.• But it means something to them.• We love that we meant something to them.• It did mean something to us.• It dawned on me I really meant something to you, you know.really mean• How far away that really means.• However, when business schools say that they can effectively teach entrepreneurial skills, what do they really mean?• People kept asking us: What does it really mean?• That sounds like motherhood and applepie until we examine what full employmentreally means.• This really means cutting in angledsweeps, allowing the doubleblade to cut on the forward and return arc.• Anna hadn't really meant here, but she felt she'd better not say anything.• And it really means nothing if you don't beat a Michigan team that you should.• Whatever that phrasereally means, Tuesday's program Twentieth-Century Landscapes showed how freely composersexploited sound in the past century.meant something• In these quiet, comforting moments the promises they made meant something, and gave him hope for the future.• But until 1800 it meant something different from what it does today.• One life? as if it meant something special.• But she couldn't let him see that it had meant something to her.• The name meant something to me.• We love that we meant something to them.• Second, I wanted a school noted for its education, or a degree that meant something where I wanted to live.• I was one of the last fortunate people because winning still meant something.mean (that)• It means accepting power as natural and necessary to decision making regardless of formal structure.• In terms of the Chart this means controlling the order in which hypotheses are taken off the Agenda and added to the search space.• Maybe Claire means it's all right, she only needs one more hanky.• You talk of family and you mean one ruthless and callous renegade.• In the home this usually means the telephone line, which is fine for voice but excruciatingly slow for data.• Their life tenure means they defy patronage.• But that means you have to fight so damn hard to get even with the system.• I mean, you've heard all his New Age stuff about them being soul mates destined for each other.
meanmean2 ●●●S3 adjective (comparative meaner, superlative meanest)1UNKINDcruelcruel or not kindThat was a mean thing to do.I felt a bit mean asking him to help.It’s a mean trick to play on someone.It was mean of him not to invite her.mean toDon’t be so mean to her!► see thesaurus at unkind2not generous British EnglishGENEROUS not wanting to spend money, or not wanting to use much of somethingSYN stingy, cheap American EnglishHe’s too mean to buy a present for his wife.mean withHe’s always been mean with his money.It was supposed to be garlic bread, but they’d been a bit mean with the garlic.3 →no mean feat/achievement/task etc4 →be no mean performer/player etc5 →a mean something6average [only before noun] technicalHMaverageThe study involved 60 patients with a mean age of 58.2 years.The mean annual rainfall was 852 mm.7poor [only before noun] literaryPOOR poor or looking poorShe walked briskly through the mean and dirty streets. —meanly adverb —meanness noun [uncountable]
Examples from the Corpus
mean• There's no reason to be mean.• We soon found out that our new teacher could be real mean.• Now with Sam gone Helen will get meaner and meaner to me like always.• Rick's so mean he never even buys his wife a birthday present.• He's so mean, he won't even buy his wife a birthday present.• The mean labelling indices did not change significantly over time regardless of whether or not there were recurrences.• The meanlength of stay in the hospital is 11 days.• The disparity between solarnoon and mean noon widens and narrows as the seasons change, on a slidingscale.• It was mean of you to disturb her when she was having a rest.• My father was a mean old man who resented every penny he spent on us.• In the gardengrey airs blowmoist, but the meansky holds on to its water.• I never thought he was capable of doing such a mean thing to his brother.• Sharon and the others were really mean to me at school today.• He was mean to those who worked for him and generous to those who he hardly knew.• That was a meantrick.• She hated him for being so mean. Why was he stopping her from seeing her friends?• Marsha has always been mean with her money.mean to• Mom, Laverne is being mean to me.meanmean3 noun1 →the mean2 →the/a mean between something and something →means
Examples from the Corpus
mean• As for the rapists, I bet they are unsuccessful in attractingfemales, and so resort to desperatemeans.• But success was by no meansguaranteed.• By no means, Watson; even now quite a few scientists continue to doubt.• The poorer ones lack the means to get out, and keep getting caught.• In some of the other states, the usualmeans of locomotion was still a horse and wagon.From King Business Dictionarymeanmean1 /miːn/ adjective [only before a noun]STATISTICS averageAnalysts’ mean estimate is for earnings of 33 cents a share.meanmean2 nounthe meanSTATISTICS the averageThe GDP of this state was 32% below the mean for the country as a whole. →arithmetic meanOriginmean1Old Englishmænanmean21. Old English gemæne2. (1300-1400)Old Frenchmeien, from Latinmedianus; → MEDIAN2mean3(1300-1400)Old Frenchmeien, from meien“in the middle”; → MEAN2