Meaning of “mean” - Learner’s Dictionary


verb [ T ] us uk /miːn/ past tense and past participle meant /ment/
Extra Examples
That symbol means that the notes should be played smoothly.Do you know what that sign means?I know the man you mean, but his name eludes me.I made it perfectly clear to him what I meant.Do you know what I mean?

A2 to have a particular meaning:

What does 'perpendicular' mean?
The red light means stop.

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'?
mean to do sth

B1 to intend to do something:

I didn't mean to hurt her.

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.

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!

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.
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.
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.
mean well

to intend to behave in a kind way:

I know my parents mean well, but I wish they wouldn't interfere.
I mean

something that people often say before they continue their sentence:

I mean, I don't dislike her.

A2 something that you say in order to correct yourself:

We went there in May - I mean June.

(Definition of “mean verb” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)