Wiktionary:Formatting Policy Proposal/layout 3

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

[This is the layout 24 used on mean.]



transitive verb

From Old English mænan, "to mean", "to allude to". Confer Durch meenen, German meinen. Cognate with "mind" and German Minne, "love".

adjective (1)

From Old English gemæne. Confer Dutch gemeen, German gemein, Gothic gamains. Cognate with Latin communis.

adjective (2)

From Old French meien (French moyen), Late Latin medianus, from medius. Cognate with "mid".




Transitive verb[edit]

to mean (meant, meant)

  1. To convey, signify, or indicate.
    • What does this hieroglyph mean?
    • The sky is red this morning—does that mean we're in for a storm?
  2. To want or intend to convey.
    • I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean.
    • Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  3. To intend; to plan on doing.
    • I didn't mean to knock your tooth out.
    • I mean to go to Baddeck this summer.
    • I meant to take the car in for a smog check, but it slipped my mind.
  4. To have conviction in what one says.
    • Does she really mean what she said to him last night?
    • Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  5. To have intentions of a some kind.
    • Don't be angry; she meant well.
    • Someone's coming up. He means business.
  6. To result in; to bring about.
    • One faltering step means certain death.

Adjective (1)[edit]

mean (meaner, meanest)

  1. Causing or intending to cause intentional harm; bearing ill will towards another; cruel; malicious.
    • Watch out for her, she's mean. I said good morning to her, and she punched me in the nose.
  2. Selfish; acting without consideration of others; unkind.
    • It was mean to steal the girl's piggy bank, but he just had to get uptown and he had no cash of his own.
  3. Powerful; fierce; harsh; damaging.
    • It must have been a mean typhoon that levelled this town.
  4. Accomplished with great skill; deft; hard to compete with.
    • Your mother can roll a mean cigarette.
    • He hits a mean backhand.
  5. Low in quality; inferior.

Related terms[edit]

Adjective (2)[edit]


  1. Having an intermediate value; based on an average; as, mean distance, mean time, mean solar time, mean sun.


mean (plural: means)

  1. (statistics) An intermediate value based on some measure of central tendency, often an average or the arithmetic mean. (See the related Wikipedia article)
  2. See the noun means

See also[edit]


transitive verb

adjective (1)

adjective (2)