mean - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    informal cruel, or unkind

    Our teachers were just mean.

    be mean to someone:

    Don’t be so mean to your sister.

     Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      angry and violent

      a mean look in his eye

      a mean horse

  2. 2
    British not willing to spend money. The usual American word is cheap

    She was too mean to put the heating on.

  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
    maths calculated by adding several numbers together and dividing the total by the original number of things you added together
  5. 5
    [only before noun] informal excellent, or skilful

    She plays a mean game of tennis.

derived words




noun [uncountable]