means Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “means” in the English Dictionary

"means" in British English

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meansnoun

uk   /miːnz/ us   /miːnz/ plural means
  • means noun (METHOD)

B2 [C] a method or way of doing something: They had no means of communication. We need to find some other means of transportation. We need to use every means at our disposal. She tried to explain by means of sign language. There is no means of tracing the debt at all. The family had no means of support (= way of getting money).

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • means noun (MONEY)

C2 [plural] money, for example from an income, that allows you to buy things: [+ to infinitive] He has the means to buy half the houses in the street if he wanted to.
live beyond your means
to spend more money than you receive as income
live within your means
to spend less money than you receive as income
a man/woman of means
a rich man/woman
(Definition of means from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"means" in American English

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meansplural noun

us   /minz/
  • means plural noun (METHOD)

a method or way of doing something: They had no means of letting him know that the flight was canceled.
by means of
By means of is used to show the method used: Students are selected for scholarships by means of an open, national competition.
  • means plural noun (MONEY)

money or income that allows you to buy things or services: [+ to infinitive] They simply don’t have the means to send their children to private schools.
of means
A person of means is rich.
(Definition of means from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"means" in Business English

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meansnoun

uk   /miːnz/ us   plural means
[C ] a method or way of doing something: We must use every means at our disposal.means of sth We need to find some other means of transportation.means of doing sth There is no means of tracing the debt at all. They saw the redundancies as a means to an end.
[plural] money, for example from an income, that allows you to buy things: the means to do sth With over $160 million of cash and virtually no debt, the company has the means to expand.
beyond your means
if you are living beyond your means, you are spending more money than you earn: Too many people live beyond their means.
the means justify the end
used to say that it does not matter if the methods used to achieve something are wrong, dishonest, etc. as long as you get the result you want : I'm sorry, but reducing the wages of the lowest-paid in order to save money is just not acceptable - the means don't justify the end.
by means of
using something: The device is attached to the patient's arm by means of straps.
(Definition of means from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“means” in British English

“means” in American English

“means” in Business English

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