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Definition of "mean" []

  • To be used to convey; denote: "'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things'” ( Lewis Carroll). (verb-transitive)
  • To act as a symbol of; signify or represent: In this poem, the budding flower means youth. (verb-transitive)
  • To intend to convey or indicate: "No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous” ( Henry Adams). (verb-transitive)
  • To have as a purpose or an intention; intend: I meant to go running this morning, but I overslept. (verb-transitive)
  • To design, intend, or destine for a certain purpose or end: a building that was meant for storage; a student who was meant to be a scientist. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "mean" in a sentence
  • "There's an underlying assumption, I think, that his words didn't mean anything (because the Clinton's words don't really * mean* anything - they just affect outcomes)."
  • ""And you realise that I mean it, _mean_ it, with every fibre of me.""
  • ""Oh, you were mean -- _mean_ -- to shame me so," and floods of tears came again."