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mean

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English

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Old English mænan (to mean, to allude to). Confer Dutch menen, German meinen. Cognate with mind and German Minne (love).

Verb

Infinitive
to mean

Third person singular
means

Simple past
meant

Past participle
-

Present participle
meaning

to mean (third-person singular simple present means, present participle meaning, simple past and past participle meant)
  1. (transitive) To convey, signify, or indicate.
    What does this hieroglyph mean?
    The sky is red this morning—does that mean we're in for a storm?
  2. (transitive) To want or intend to convey.
    I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean.
    Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  3. (transitive) To intend; to plan on doing.
    I didn't mean to knock your tooth out.
    I mean to go to Baddeck this summer.
    I meant to take the car in for a smog check, but it slipped my mind.
  4. (transitive) To have conviction in what one says.
    Does she really mean what she said to him last night?
    Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  5. (transitive) To have intentions of a some kind.
    Don't be angry; she meant well.
    Someone's coming up. He means business.
  6. (transitive) To result in; to bring about.
    One faltering step means certain death.
Usage notes
Synonyms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Noun

Singular
mean

Plural
{{{1}}}

mean ({{{1}}})
  1. (obsolete, Template loop detected: Template:context 1) An intermediate step or intermediate steps.
Quotations

Etymology 2

Old English mæne. Confer Dutch gemeen, German gemein, Gothic gamains. Cognate with Latin communis.

Adjective

mean (comparative er, superlative {{{2}}})

Positive
mean

Comparative
er

Superlative
{{{2}}}

  1. Causing or intending to cause intentional harm; bearing ill will towards another; cruel; malicious.
    Watch out for her, she's mean. I said good morning to her, and she punched me in the nose.
  2. Miserly; stingy.
    He's so mean. I've never seen him spend so much as five pounds on presents for his children.
  3. Selfish; acting without consideration of others; unkind.
    It was mean to steal the girl's piggy bank, but he just had to get uptown and he had no cash of his own.
  4. Powerful; fierce; harsh; damaging.
    It must have been a mean typhoon that levelled this town.
  5. Accomplished with great skill; deft; hard to compete with.
    Your mother can roll a mean cigarette.
    He hits a mean backhand.
  6. Low in quality; inferior.
Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 3

From Middle English meene, from Old French meien (French moyen), Late Latin medianus (that is in the middle, middle), from medius (middle). Cognate with mid.

Adjective

mean (not comparable)

Positive
mean

Comparative
not comparable

Superlative
none (absolute)

  1. Having the mean (see noun below) as its value.
Derived terms
See also
Translations

Noun

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Wikipedia

Singular
mean

Plural
{{{1}}}

mean ({{{1}}})
  1. The average, the arithmetic mean.
  2. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) Loosely, an intermediate value or range of values; a mid-value; a vague average.
    • 1997, John Llewelyn Davies, David J. Vaughan, Republic, original by Plato, page 263,  
      Then will not this constitution be a kind of mean between aristocracy and oligarchy?
    • 1996, Harris Rackham, The Nicomachean Ethics, original by Aristotle, page 118,  
      as a mean, it implies certain extremes between which it lies, namely the more and the less
  3. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (mathematics) Any function of multiple variables that satisfies certain properties and yields a number representative of its arguments; or, the number so yielded.
    • 1997, Angus Deaton, The Analysis of Household Surveys: A Microeconometric Approach to Development Policy,[1] World Bank Publications, ISBN 9780801852541, page 51:
      Note that (1.41) is simply the probability-weighted mean without any explicit allowance for the stratification; each observation is weighted by its inflation factor and the total divided by the total of the inflation factors for the survey.
    • 2002, Clifford A. Pickover, The Mathematics of Oz: Mental Gymnastics from Beyond the Edge,[2] Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521016780, page 246:
      Luckily, even though the arithmetic mean is unusable, both the harmonic and geometric means settle to precise values as the amount of data increases.
    • 2003, P. S. Bullen, Handbook of Means and Their Inequalities,[3] Springer, ISBN 978-1-4020-1522-9, page 251:
      The generalized power means include power means, certain Gini means, in particular the counter-harmonic means.
  4. (mathematics) Either of the two numbers in the middle of a conventionally presented proportion, as 2 and 3 in 1:2=3:6.
    • 1825, John Farrar, translator, An Elementary Treatise on Arithmetic by Silvestre François Lacroix, third edition, page 102,
      ...if four numbers be in proportion, the product of the first and last, or of the two extremes, is equal to the product of the second and third, or of the two means.
    • 1999, Dawn B. Sova, How to Solve Word Problems in Geometry, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 007134652X, page 85,
      Using the means-extremes property of proportions, you know that the product of the extremes equals the product of the means. The ratio t/4 = 5/2 can be rewritten as t:4 = 5:2, in which the extremes are t and 2, and the means are 4 and 5.
    • 2007, Carolyn C. Wheater, Homework Helpers: Geometry, Career Press, ISBN 1564147215, page 99,
      In <math>\frac{18}{27}=\frac23</math>, the product of the means is <math>2\cdot27</math>, and the product of the extremes is <math>18\cdot3</math>. Both products are 54.
See also
Derived terms
Translations

Anagrams


Spanish

Verb

mean (infinitive: mear)

  1. Second-person plural (ustedes) present indicative form of mear.
  2. Third-person plural (ellos, ellas, also used with ustedes?) present indicative form of mear.

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