lean Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “lean” - English Dictionary

"lean" in American English

See all translations

leanverb [I/T]

 us   /lin/ (past tense and past participle leaned  /lind/ )
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/
(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: lean hamburger meat
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 British English

See all translations

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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

leanadjective

uk   /liːn/  us   /liːn/
(Definition of lean from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"lean" in Business English

See all translations

leanadjective

uk   us   /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]
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)
What is the pronunciation of lean?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“lean” in Business English

A bunch of stuff about plurals
A bunch of stuff about plurals
by ,
May 24, 2016
by Colin McIntosh One of the many ways in which English differs from other languages is its use of uncountable nouns to talk about collections of objects: as well as never being used in the plural, they’re never used with a or an. Examples are furniture (plural in German and many other languages), cutlery (plural in Italian), and

Read More 

Word of the Day

parasol

a type of sunshade (= round frame covered in cloth on a stick) carried especially by women in the past, to give protection from the sun

Word of the Day

convo noun
convo noun
May 23, 2016
informal a conversation The convo around concussions mostly focuses on guys who play football, but Chastain thinks that this whole thing could be a headache for women too.

Read More