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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 advent of modern agriculture, women often had to glean.
  1. To collect what is left behind (grain, grapes, etc.) after the main harvest or gathering.
    Synonym: lease
  2. To gather what is left in (a field or vineyard).
    to glean a field
  3. (figurative) To gather information in small amounts, with implied difficulty, bit by bit.
    Synonym: learn
  4. To frugally accumulate resources from low-yield contexts.
    Synonyms: wring, extract
    • 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.
    • 1697, Virgil, “The Fourth Book of the Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      The gleans of yellow thyme distend his thighs.

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. (obsolete) cleaning; afterbirth


  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.