Definition of mean verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    mean

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//miːn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//miːn//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they mean
    BrE BrE//miːn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//miːn//
     
    he / she / it means
    BrE BrE//miːnz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//miːnz//
     
    past simple meant
    BrE BrE//ment//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ment//
     
    past participle meant
    BrE BrE//ment//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ment//
     
    -ing form meaning
    BrE BrE//ˈmiːnɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmiːnɪŋ//
     
     
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    have as meaning
  1. 1  (not used in the progressive tenses) to have something as a meaning mean something What does this sentence mean? What is meant by ‘batch processing’? mean something to somebody Does the name ‘Jos Vos’ mean anything to you (= do you know who he is)? mean (that)… The flashing light means (that) you must stop.
  2. intend as meaning
  3. 2  (not used in the progressive tenses) to intend to say something on a particular occasion mean something What did he mean by that remark? ‘Perhaps we should try another approach.’ ‘What do you mean? (= I don't understand what you are suggesting.) What do you mean, you thought I wouldn't mind? (= of course I mind and I am very angry) What she means is that there's no point in waiting here. I always found him a little strange, if you know what I mean (= if you understand what I mean by ‘strange’). I know what you mean (= I understand and feel sympathy). I hated learning to drive too. (informal) It was like—weird. Know what I mean? I see what you mean (= I understand although I may not agree), but I still think it's worth trying. See what I mean (= I was right and this proves it, doesn't it)? She never agrees to anything I suggest. ‘But Pete doesn't know we're here!’ ‘That's what I mean! (= that's what I have been trying to tell you.) Do you mean Ann Smith or Mary Smith? mean (that)… Did he mean (that) he was dissatisfied with our service? You mean (= are you telling me) we have to start all over again? Language Banki.e.Explaining what you mean Some poems are mnemonics, i.e. they are designed to help you remember something. Some poems are mnemonics, that is to say, they are designed to help you remember something. Mnemonic poems, that is poems designed to help you remember something, are an excellent way to learn lists. A limerick’s rhyme scheme is A–A–B–B–A. In other words, the first, second, and fifth lines all rhyme with one another, while the third and fourth lines have their own rhyme. In this exercise the reader is encouraged to work out the meaning, or rather the range of meanings, of the poem. This is a poem about death, or, more precisely, dying. He says his poems deal with ‘the big issues’, by which he means love, loss, grief and death. Express YourselfCorrecting yourselfWhen you say something that was not quite what you intended, you can correct yourself in various ways: I'll be there at five fifteen, I mean five fifty—ten to six. It'll be Tuesday—sorry, I meant to say Thursday. Sorry, what I mean is, we need two handouts per person. We can meet in the conference centre—or rather in front of the centre. The painter—or should I say, the sculptor—was born in Padua. It's one t and double s—no, sorry, one s and double t. It's on the fifth floor—no, actually, it's the fourth. Can I get two lattes and an espresso—no, scratch that, three lattes. (North American English, informal)
  4. have as purpose
  5. 3  to have something as a purpose or intention synonym intend mean something What did she mean by leaving so early (= why did she do it)? Don't laugh! I mean it (= I am serious). He means trouble (= to cause trouble). mean something as something Don't be upset—I'm sure she meant it as a compliment. mean what… He means what he says (= is not joking, exaggerating, etc.). mean something for somebody/something The chair was clearly meant for a child. Don't be angry. I'm sure she meant it for the best (= intended to be helpful). mean to do something She means to succeed. I'm sorry I hurt you. I didn't mean to. I'm feeling very guilty—I've been meaning to call my parents for days, but still haven't got around to it. mean somebody/something to do something I didn't mean you to read the letter. You're meant to (= you are supposed to) pay before you go in. mean (that)… (formal) I never meant (that) you should come alone.
  6. intend somebody to be/do something
  7. 4  [often passive] to intend somebody to be or do something mean somebody for something/somebody I was never meant for the army (= did not have the qualities needed to become a soldier). Duncan and Makiko were meant for each other (= are very suitable as partners). mean somebody/something to be something His father meant him to be an engineer. She did everything to get the two of them together, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be.
  8. have as result
  9. 5  to have something as a result or a likely result synonym entail mean something Spending too much now will mean a shortage of cash next year. mean to be/do something Do you have any idea what it means to be poor? mean (that)… We’ll have to be careful with money but that doesn’t mean (that) we can’t enjoy ourselves. mean doing something This new order will mean working overtime. mean somebody/something doing something The injury could mean him missing next week's game. More Like This Verbs usually followed by infinitives afford, agree, appear, arrange, attempt, beg, choose, consent, decide, expect, fail, happen, hesitate, hope, intend, learn, manage, mean, neglect, offer, prepare, pretend, promise, refuse, swear, try, want, wishSee worksheet.
  10. be important
  11. 6  [no passive] mean something to somebody to be of value or importance to somebody Your friendship means a great deal to me. $20 means a lot (= represents a lot of money) when you live on $100 a week. Money means nothing to him. Her children mean the world to her.
  12. Word Originverb Old English mænan, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch meenen and German meinen, from an Indo-European root shared by mind.Extra examples ‘But Pete doesn’t know we’re here!’ ‘ That’s what I mean! ’ ‘Perhaps we should try another approach.’ ‘ What do you mean? ’ Do you mean Steve Jones or Alex Jones? Does the name ‘David Berwick’ mean anything to you? Don’t be angry. I’m sure she meant it for the best. Don’t be upset—I’m sure he meant it as a compliment. Don’t laugh! I mean it. He means trouble. He means what he says. I always found him a little strange, if you know what I mean. I didn’t mean to read your letter. I know what you mean — I hated learning to drive too. I see what you mean , but I still think it’s worth trying. I was never meant for the army. I’m sorry I hurt you. I didn’t mean to. I’ve been meaning to call her, but I’ve been so busy lately. It was like—weird. Know what I mean? Mr President, does this mean an end to the current conflict? Philip and Kim were meant for each other. See what I mean She never agrees to anything I suggest. The cost would have meant financial ruin for us. The house was clearly meant to be a family home. The injury could mean him missing next week’s game. There was a rack by the door presumably meant for umbrellas. They are not using the system in the way the manufacturer meant it to be used. Touching the wires means instant death. We’ll have to be careful with money but that doesn’t mean (that) we can’t enjoy ourselves. What did she mean by leaving so early = why did she do it? What do you mean, you thought I wouldn’t mind? What is meant by ‘batch processing’? What she means is that there is no point in waiting here. You mean we have to start all over again? You’re meant to pay before you go in.Idioms
    be meant to be something
     
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     to be generally considered to be something This restaurant is meant to be excellent.
     (informal) used to explain or correct what you have just said It was so boring—I mean, nothing happened for the first hour! She's English—Scottish, I mean. (informal) to be serious in your intentions He has the look of a man who means business.
    mean (somebody) no harm, not mean (somebody) any harm
     
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    to not have any intention of hurting somebody
    used to emphasize what you are saying or to ask somebody if they really mean what they say I mean to say, you should have known how he would react! Do you mean to say you've lost it? (usually disapproving) to have good intentions, although their effect may not be good
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: mean