- 1(usually approving) (of people, especially men, or animals) without much flesh; thin and fit a lean, muscular body He was tall, lean, and handsome.
- 2(of meat) containing little or no fat a lean, tender piece of beef
- 3 [usually before noun] (of a period of time) difficult and not producing much money, food, etc. a lean period The company recovered well after going through several lean years. This is the leanest time of the year for the tourist industry. Many animals have a lean time of it in winter.
- 4 (of organizations, etc.) strong and efficient because the number of employees has been reduced The changes made the company leaner and more competitive.
- NAmE//ˈlinnəs//noun [uncountable] The dark clothes emphasized the leanness of her body. Idioms
leannessjump to other results
efficient and using resources well with little waste a lean and mean organization
lean and meanjump to other results