Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “lean”

lean

adjective [-er/-est only] (THIN)   /lin/
(of a person) thin and in good physical condition: Her body is lean, taut, athletic. When you describe meat as lean, you mean that it does not have much fat in it: lean hamburger meat A lean period is a time during which there is not enough of something, esp. money or food: It is a particularly lean year for science funding. When you say that a company or business is lean, you mean that it has the fewest employees it needs to do its work.
(Definition of lean adjective (THIN) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of lean

Definitions of “lean” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

neighbourly

friendly or helpful

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More