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English definition of “lean”

lean

adjective     /liːn/
MANAGEMENT using fewer employees or less money in order to decrease waste , while continuing to operate effectively : Companies are downsizing , aiming to be leaner and more efficient , with demands on employees for greater productivity . With the application of lean management principles , suppliers and distributors have streamlined their processes .lean enterprise/operation/organization When it comes to costs , they pride themselves on running a lean operation .get/become leaner The pack-houses and their workers have had to become leaner. lean retailers / suppliers
if a period of time is lean, there is not enough money or business at that time : lean period / times / years Funding has been increased to some programs suffering from several years of lean budgets .
if costs , goods for sale , materials , or quantities of workers are lean, they are very low , or kept as low as possible : Cold weather across the U.S. signaled a surge in demand for natural gas products at a time when inventories are uncomfortably lean. Working quickly and cheaply , with lean staffs and even leaner budgets , contract manufacturers have long played a supporting role in the computer business .
leanness noun [U]
(Definition of lean adjective from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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