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Definition of mean (Meaning of mean)
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Mean Mean (m[=e]n), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Meant} (m[e^]nt); p.
	     pr. & vb. n. {Meaning}.] [OE. menen, AS. m[=ae]nan to recite,
	     tell, intend, wish; akin to OS. m[=e]nian to have in mind,
	     mean, D. meenen, G. meinen, OHG. meinan, Icel. meina, Sw.
	     mena, Dan. mene, and to E. mind. [root]104. See {Mind}, and
	     cf. {Moan}.]
	     1. To have in the mind, as a purpose, intention, etc.; to
	        intend; to purpose; to design; as, what do you mean to do?
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	              What mean ye by this service ?        --Ex. xii. 26.
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	              Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto
	              good.                                 --Gen. 1. 20.
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	              I am not a Spaniard
	              To say that it is yours and not to mean it.
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	     2. To signify; to indicate; to import; to denote.
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	              What mean these seven ewe lambs ?     --Gen. xxi.
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	              Go ye, and learn what that meaneth.   --Matt. ix.
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	  Mean Mean, v. i.
	     To have a purpose or intention. [Rare, except in the phrase
	     to mean well, or ill.] --Shak.
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	  Mean Mean (m[=e]n), a. [Compar. {Meaner} (m[=e]n"[~e]r);
	     superl. {Meanest}.] [OE. mene, AS. m[=ae]ne wicked; akin to
	     m[=a]n, a., wicked, n., wickedness, OS. m[=e]n wickedness,
	     OHG. mein, G. meineid perjury, Icel. mein harm, hurt, and
	     perh. to AS. gem[=ae]ne common, general, D. gemeen, G.
	     gemein, Goth. gam['a]ins, and L. communis. The AS. gem[=ae]ne
	     prob. influenced the meaning.]
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	     1. Destitute of distinction or eminence; common; low; vulgar;
	        humble. ``Of mean parentage.'' --Sir P. Sidney.
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	              The mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth
	              himself.                              --Is. ii. 9.
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	     2. Wanting dignity of mind; low-minded; base; destitute of
	        honor; spiritless; as, a mean motive.
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	              Can you imagine I so mean could prove,
	              To save my life by changing of my love ? --Dryden.
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	     3. Of little value or account; worthy of little or no regard;
	        contemptible; despicable.
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	              The Roman legions and great C[ae]sar found
	              Our fathers no mean foes.             --J. Philips.
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	     4. Of poor quality; as, mean fare.
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	     5. Penurious; stingy; close-fisted; illiberal; as, mean
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	     Note: Mean is sometimes used in the formation of compounds,
	           the sense of which is obvious without explanation; as,
	           meanborn, mean-looking, etc.
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	     Syn: Base; ignoble; abject; beggarly; wretched; degraded;
	          degenerate; vulgar; vile; servile; menial; spiritless;
	          groveling; slavish; dishonorable; disgraceful; shameful;
	          despicable; contemptible; paltry; sordid. See {Base}.
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	  Mean Mean, a. [OE. mene, OF. meiien, F. moyen, fr. L. medianus
	     that is in the middle, fr. medius; akin to E. mid. See
	     1. Occupying a middle position; middle; being about midway
	        between extremes.
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	              Being of middle age and a mean stature. --Sir. P.
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	     2. Intermediate in excellence of any kind.
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	              According to the fittest style of lofty, mean, or
	              lowly.                                --Milton.
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	     3. (Math.) Average; having an intermediate value between two
	        extremes, or between the several successive values of a
	        variable quantity during one cycle of variation; as, mean
	        distance; mean motion; mean solar day.
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	     {Mean distance} (of a planet from the sun) (Astron.), the
	        average of the distances throughout one revolution of the
	        planet, equivalent to the semi-major axis of the orbit.
	     {Mean error} (Math. Phys.), the average error of a number of
	        observations found by taking the mean value of the
	        positive and negative errors without regard to sign.
	     {Mean-square error}, or {Error of the mean square} (Math.
	        Phys.), the error the square of which is the mean of the
	        squares of all the errors; -- called also, {mean square
	        deviation}, {mean error}.
	     {Mean line}. (Crystallog.) Same as {Bisectrix}.
	     {Mean noon}, noon as determined by mean time.
	     {Mean proportional} (between two numbers) (Math.), the square
	        root of their product.
	     {Mean sun}, a fictitious sun supposed to move uniformly in
	        the equator so as to be on the meridian each day at mean
	     {Mean time}, time as measured by an equable motion, as of a
	        perfect clock, or as reckoned on the supposition that all
	        the days of the year are of a mean or uniform length, in
	        contradistinction from apparent time, or that actually
	        indicated by the sun, and from sidereal time, or that
	        measured by the stars.
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	  Mean Mean, n.
	     1. That which is mean, or intermediate, between two extremes
	        of place, time, or number; the middle point or place;
	        middle rate or degree; mediocrity; medium; absence of
	        extremes or excess; moderation; measure.
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	              But to speak in a mean, the virtue of prosperity is
	              temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude.
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	              There is a mean in all things.        --Dryden.
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	              The extremes we have mentioned, between which the
	              wellinstracted Christian holds the mean, are
	              correlatives.                         --I. Taylor.
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	     2. (Math.) A quantity having an intermediate value between
	        several others, from which it is derived, and of which it
	        expresses the resultant value; usually, unless otherwise
	        specified, it is the simple average, formed by adding the
	        quantities together and dividing by their number, which is
	        called an {arithmetical mean}. A {geometrical mean} is the
	        nth root of the product of the n quantities being
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	     3. That through which, or by the help of which, an end is
	        attained; something tending to an object desired;
	        intermediate agency or measure; necessary condition or
	        coagent; instrument.
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	              Their virtuous conversation was a mean to work the
	              conversion of the heathen to Christ.  --Hooker.
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	              You may be able, by this mean, to review your own
	              scientific acquirements.              --Coleridge.
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	              Philosophical doubt is not an end, but a mean. --Sir
	                                                    W. Hamilton.
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	     Note: In this sense the word is usually employed in the
	           plural form means, and often with a singular attribute
	           or predicate, as if a singular noun.
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	                 By this means he had them more at vantage.
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	                 What other means is left unto us.  --Shak.
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	     4. pl. Hence: Resources; property, revenue, or the like,
	        considered as the condition of easy livelihood, or an
	        instrumentality at command for effecting any purpose;
	        disposable force or substance.
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	              Your means are very slender, and your waste is
	              great.                                --Shak.
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	     5. (Mus.) A part, whether alto or tenor, intermediate between
	        the soprano and base; a middle part. [Obs.]
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	              The mean is drowned with your unruly base. --Shak.
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	     6. Meantime; meanwhile. [Obs.] --Spenser.
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	     7. A mediator; a go-between. [Obs.] --Piers Plowman.
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	              He wooeth her by means and by brokage. --Chaucer.
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	     {By all means}, certainly; without fail; as, go, by all
	     {By any means}, in any way; possibly; at all.
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	              If by any means I might attain to the resurrection
	              of the dead.                          --Phil. iii.
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	     {By no means}, or {By no manner of means}, not at all;
	        certainly not; not in any degree.
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	              The wine on this side of the lake is by no means so
	              good as that on the other.            --Addison.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
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