Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “lean”

See all translations

lean

verb [I or T, usually + adv/prep] uk   /liːn/ (leaned or UK also leant, leaned or UK also leant) us  
B2 to (cause to) slope in one direction, or to move the top part of the body in a particular direction: She leaned forward and whispered something in my ear. I sat down next to Bernard, who leaned over to me and said "You're late." Lean your head back a little. That fence is leaning to the right.
More examples

lean

adjective uk   /liːn/ us  

lean adjective (NO FAT)

Lean meat has little fat. thin and healthy: lean and fit

lean adjective (NOT ENOUGH)

If a period of time is lean, there is not enough of something, especially money or food, at that time: It has been a particularly lean year for the education department.

lean adjective (EFFICIENT)

approving A lean company or organization does not use too many people or spend too much money, so that there is no waste: Nowadays even efficient, lean, well-run industries are failing.
(Definition of lean from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of lean?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “lean” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

thug

a man who acts violently, especially to commit a crime

Word of the Day

The way we move (Verbs for walking and running)

by Kate Woodford,
March 25, 2015
​​​ This week we’re looking at interesting ways to describe the way that people move. Most of the verbs that we’ll be considering describe how fast or slow people move. Others describe the attitude or state of mind of the person walking or running. Some describe both. Starting with verbs for walking slowly,

Read More 

crossfit noun

March 23, 2015
high-intensity strength training Two women in strappy dresses discussed how much weight they could snatch

Read More