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English definition of “mean”

mean

verb [T]
 
 
/miːn/ (past tense and past participle meant /ment/)
MEANING A2 to have a particular meaning: What does 'perpendicular' mean? The red light means stop.Meaning and significanceTypifying, illustrating and exemplifying
EXPRESS B1 to intend to express a fact or opinion: I didn't mean that as a criticism. That's what I meant when I said he's been acting oddly. What exactly do you mean by 'old-fashioned'?Meaning and significanceTypifying, illustrating and exemplifying
mean to do sth B1 to intend to do something: I didn't mean to hurt her.Planning, expecting and arrangingPlotting and trapping
RESULT B1 to have a particular result: These changes will mean better health care for everyone. [+ (that)] It doesn't mean that you can stop working.Outcomes and consequences
SERIOUS to be serious about something that you have said: I'll take that sandwich away if you don't eat it properly - I mean it!Meaning and significanceTypifying, illustrating and exemplifying
IMPORTANT B1 to have an important emotional effect on someone: You don't know what it means to me to get this letter. Their support has meant a lot to us.ImportanceUseful or advantageous
have been meaning to do sth B1 to have been wanting and planning to do something: I've been meaning to call you for weeks.Planning, expecting and arrangingPlotting and trapping
be meant to do sth If you are meant to do something, that is what you should do in order to behave correctly: You're meant to shake the bottle first. He's not meant to drive any more.Duty, obligation and responsibility
mean well to intend to behave in a kind way: I know my parents mean well, but I wish they wouldn't interfere.Kind and thoughtful
I mean something that people often say before they continue their sentence: I mean, I don't dislike her.Connecting words joining words or phrases with similar or related meaningsInterjectionsSounds used as interjections A2 something that you say in order to correct yourself: We went there in May - I mean June.InterjectionsSounds used as interjectionsConnecting words joining words or phrases with similar or related meaningsCorrecting and mendingEditing and compiling
(Definition of mean verb from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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