American English

Definition of mean adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (meaner, meanest)
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  1. 1mean (to somebody) (of people or their behavior) unkind, for example by not letting someone have or do something Don't be so mean to your little brother!
  2. angry/violent
  3. 2likely to become angry or violent That's a mean-looking dog.
  4. skillful
  5. 3(informal) very good and skillful He's a mean tennis player. She plays a mean game of chess.
  6. average
  7. 4[only before noun] (technology) average; between the highest and the lowest, etc. the mean temperature
  8. poor
  9. 5(literary) poor and dirty in appearance mean houses/streets
  10. 6(old-fashioned) born into or coming from a low social class These rights apply even to the meanest laborer.
  11. meanly adjective
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  12. NAmE//ˈminnəs//
    noun [uncountable]
  13. Idioms
    be no mean… (approving)
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    used to say that someone is very good at doing something His mother was a painter, and he's no mean artist himself.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: mean