Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “mean”

See all translations

mean

verb
 
/miːn/ (meant)
A2 to have a particular meaning: What does this word mean? The green light means go.
I mean A2 something that you say in order to correct yourself: We went there in May – I mean June.
mean to do something B1 to want to do something: I didn’t mean to hurt her.
be meaning to do something B1 to be planning to do something: I’ve been meaning to call you for weeks.
B1 to have a particular result: These changes will mean better health care for everyone.
B1 to intend to express a fact or opinion: I didn’t mean that as a criticism. What exactly do you mean byold-fashioned”?
B1 to have an important emotional effect on someone: It wasn’t a valuable picture but it meant a lot to me.
(Definition of mean verb from the Cambridge Essential Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More Essential British English definitions for “mean”

Definitions of “mean” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

illusion

an idea or belief that is not true

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

showrooming noun

February 23, 2015
the activity of examining a product in a physical store and then making the purchase with an online retailer Amazon’s new smartphone is specifically designed to make showrooming fast and easy.

Read More