Definition of means noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    means

     noun
    noun
    NAmE//minz//
     
    (pl. means)
     
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  1. 1 [countable] means (of something/of doing something) an action, an object, or a system by which a result is achieved; a way of achieving or doing something Television is an effective means of communication. Is there any means of contacting him? Have you any means of identification? We needed to get to Madison but we had no means of transportation.
  2. 2 [plural] the money that a person has People should pay according to their means. He doesn't have the means to support a wife and child. Private schools are beyond the means of most people (= more than they can afford). Are the monthly payments within your means (= can you afford them)? Try to live within your means (= not spend more money than you have). a man of means (= a rich man)
  3. Idioms
    by all means
     
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    used to say that you are very willing for someone to have something or do something “Do you mind if I have a look?” “By all means.”
    by fair means or foul
     
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    using dishonest methods if honest ones do not work She's determined to win, by fair means or foul.
    by means of something(formal)
     
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    with the help of something The load was lifted by means of a crane.
    by no means,not by any means
     
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    not at all She is by no means an inexperienced teacher. We haven't won yet, not by any means.
    the end justifies the means(saying)
     
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    bad or unfair methods of doing something are acceptable if the result of that action is good or positive
    a means to an end
     
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    a thing or action that is not interesting or important in itself but is a way of achieving something else He doesn't particularly like the work but he sees it as a means to an end.
    ways and means
     
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    the methods and materials available for doing something ways and means of raising money
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: means