Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

lean - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective lean pronunciation in British English /liːn/
Word Forms
  1. 1
    thin and looking physically fit and healthy
    He was lean and tanned.
  2. 2
    lean meat has very little fat in it
    a lean cut of beef
    Synonyms and related words
  3. 4
    a lean period of time is very difficult to live in because many people lack money or other necessary things
    the lean years of the Depression
    Synonyms and related words


… a feeling of pleasure you get from spending time doing what you want and not worrying about what other people are doing or saying

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


lively or active

Open Dictionary

brain fade

a temporary inability to think clearly or remember information

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog