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mean - definition and synonyms

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adjective     mean pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    informal cruel, or unkind

    Our teachers were just mean.

    be mean to someone:

    Don’t be so mean to your sister.

    1. a.
      angry and violent

      a mean look in his eye

      a mean horse

  2. 2
    [only before noun] informal excellent, or skillful

    She plays a mean game of tennis.

  3. 3
    mainly literary typical of the living conditions and environment of poor people

    a mean little house

    mean streets

    Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    British cheap (=not willing to spend money)

    She was too mean to turn on the heat.

  5. 5
    maths calculated by adding several numbers together and dividing the total by the original number of things you added together

derived words




noun [uncountable]
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a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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