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


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English glenen, from Anglo-Norman glener, from Late Latin glen(n)ō (make a collection), from Gaulish, possibly from Proto-Celtic *glanos.[1]


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɡliːn/
    • (file)
  • Hyphenation: glean
  • Rhymes: -iːn


glean (third-person singular simple present gleans, present participle gleaning, simple past and past participle gleaned)

Before the apparition of modern agriculture, women often had to glean.
  1. To collect (grain, grapes, etc.) left behind after the main harvest or gathering.
  2. To gather what is left in (a field or vineyard).
    to glean a field
  3. To gather information in small amounts, with implied difficulty, bit by bit.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Locke and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      content to glean what we can from [] experiments
    • 8 December 2011, BBC News, Iran shows film of captured US drone, available in :
      He said Iran was "well aware of what priceless technological information" could be gleaned from the aircraft.
  4. To frugally accumulate resources from low-yield contexts.
    He gleaned a living from newspaper work for a few months, but in the summer went to a fishing village […] where […] he wrote his great historical drama, "Master Olof." (Translators Edith and Warner Oland on author August Strindberg.)
  • (pick up, gather, collect): lease
  • (gather information): learn


glean (plural gleans)

  1. A collection made by gleaning.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The gleans of yellow thyme distend his thighs.

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. (obsolete) cleaning; afterbirth
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Holland to this entry?)

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for glean in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


  1. ^ Webster, Noah (1828): An American Dictionary of the English Language, Vol. 1




glean m

  1. Eclipsed form of clean.


Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
clean chlean glean
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.