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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.
    Synonym: lease
  2. To gather what is left in (a field or vineyard).
    to glean a field
  3. (figuratively) To gather information in small amounts, with implied difficulty, bit by bit.
    Synonym: learn
  4. To frugally accumulate resources from low-yield contexts.
    • 1912, Edith and Warner Oland, “Biographical Note”, in Three Plays By August Strindberg, page xi:
      He [August Strindberg] 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.


glean (plural gleans)

  1. A collection made by gleaning.

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 The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.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.