Definition of “lean” - English Dictionary

“lean” in British English

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leanverb [ I or T, usually + adv/prep ]

uk /liːn/ us /liːn/ leaned or UK also leant, leaned or UK also leant

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

leanadjective

uk /liːn/ us /liːn/

(Definition of “lean” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“lean” in American English

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leanverb [ I/T ]

us /lin/ past tense and past participle leaned /lind/

lean verb [ I/T ] (SLOPE)

to move your body away from a vertical position so that it is bent forward or resting against something, or to place something in a sloping position against something:

[ I always + adv/prep ] The conductor leaned over us and asked for our tickets.
[ I always + adv/prep ] She paused for a moment to rest and leaned against a large rock.
[ T ] He leaned his bike against the wall.

leanadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /lin/

lean adjective [ -er/-est only ] (THIN)

(of a person) thin and in good physical condition:

Her body is lean, taut, athletic.

When you describe meat as lean, you mean that it does not have much fat in it:

A lean period is a time during which there is not enough of something, esp. money or food:

It is a particularly lean year for science funding.

When you say that a company or business is lean, you mean that it has the fewest employees it needs to do its work.

(Definition of “lean” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“lean” in Business English

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leanadjective

uk /liːn/ us

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.
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.

if a period of time is lean, there is not enough money or business at that time:

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 ]

Leanness means eliminating all waste, including time, and ensuring a smooth and predictable output.

(Definition of “lean” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)