mean - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “mean”

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mean

verb  us   /min/ (past tense and past participle meant  /ment/ )

mean verb (EXPRESS)

[T] to represent or express something intended, or to refer to someone or something: "What does ’rough’ mean?" "It means ’not smooth.’" [+ that clause] These figures mean that almost 7% of the population is unemployed. "Do you see that girl over there?" "Do you mean the one with short blond hair?"

mean verb (HAVE RESULT)

[T] to have as a result: Lower costs mean higher profits. [+ (that) clause] If she doesn’t answer the phone, it means (that) she’s out in the garden.

mean verb (HAVE IMPORTANCE)

[T] to have the importance or value of: My grandmother’s ring wasn’t valuable, but it meant a lot to me.

mean verb (INTEND)

[I/T] to say or do something intentionally; intend: [T] I think she meant 8 o’clock, although she said 7 o’clock. [I] I’ve been meaning to call you but I’ve been so busy I never got around to it. [I/T] Mean can also be used to add emphasis to what you are saying: [T] She means what she says.

mean

noun [C]  /min/

mean noun [C] (AVERAGE)

mathematics a number that is the result of adding a group of numbers together and then dividing the result by how many numbers were in the group

mean

adjective [-er/-est only]  us   /min/

mean adjective [-er/-est only] (NOT KIND)

unkind or not caring: I felt a little mean when I said I couldn’t visit her in the hospital until Saturday.

mean adjective [-er/-est only] (GOOD)

slang very good: She plays a mean bass fiddle.
(Definition of mean from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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