KJV Dictionary Definition: mean


MEAN, a. L. communis, vulgus, minor and minuo.

1. Wanting dignity; low in rank or birth; as a man of mean parentage,mean birth or origin.

2. Wanting dignity of mind; low minded; base; destitute of honor; spiritless.

Can you imagine I so mean could prove,

To save my life by changing of my love?

3. Contemptible; despicable.

The Roman legions and great Caesar found

Our fathers no mean foes.

4. Of little value; low in worth or estimation; worthy of little or no regard.

We fast, not to please men, nor to promote any mean worldly interest.

5. Of little value; humble; poor; as a mean abode; a mean dress.

MEAN, a. L. medium, medius.

1. Middle; at an equal distance from the extremes; as the means distance; the mean proportion between quantities; the mean ratio.

According to the fittest style of lofty, mean, or lowly.

2. Intervening; intermediate; coming between; as in the mean time or while.

MEAN, n. The middle point or place; the middle rate or degree; mediocrity; medium. Observe the golden mean.

There is a mean in all things.

But no authority of gods or men

Allow of any mean in poesy.

1. Intervening time; interval of time; interim; meantime.

And in the mean, vouchsafe her honorable tomb.

Here is an omission of time or while.

2. Measure; regulation. Not in use.

3. Instrument; that which is used to effect an object; the medium through which something is done.

The virtuous conversation of christians was a mean to work the conversion of the heathen to Christ.

In this sense, means, in the plural,is generally used, and often with a definitive and verb in the singular.

By this means he had them more at vantage.

A good character,when established, should not be rested on as an end, but employed as a means of doing good.

4. Means, in the plural, income, revenue, resources, substance or estate, considered as the instrument of effecting any purpose. He would have built a house, but he wanted means.

Your means are slender.

5. Instrument of action or performance.

By all means, without fail. Go, by all means.

By no means, not at all; certainly not; not in any degree.

The wine on this side of the lake is by no means so good as that on the other.

By no manner of means, by no means; not the least.

By any means, possibly; at all.

If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. Phil.3.


Meanwhile, in the intervening time. In this use of these words there is an omission of in or in the; in the meantime.

MEAN, v.t. pret. and pp. meant; pronounced ment. L. mens; Eng.mind; L. intendo, propono.

1. To have in the mind, view or contemplation; to intend.

What mean you by this service? Ex.12.

2. To intend; to purpose; to design, with reference to a future act.

Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it for good. Gen.1.

3. To signify; to indicate.

What mean these seven ewe lambs? Gen.21.

What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? 1 Sam.4.

Go ye, and learn what that meaneth-- Matt.9.

MEAN, v.i. To have thought or ideas; or to have meaning.


ME'ANING, ppr. Having in mind; intending; signifying.

ME'ANING, n. That which exists in the mind, view or contemplation as a settled aim or purpose, though not directly expressed. We say, this or that is not his meaning.

1. Intention; purpose; aim; with reference to a future act.

I am no honest man, if there by any good meaning towards you.

2. Signification. What is the meaning of all this parade? The meaning of a hieroglyphic is not always obvious.

3. The sense of words or expressions; that which is to be understood; signification; that which the writer or speaker intends to express or communicate. Words have a literal meaning, or a metaphorical meaning, and it is not always easy to ascertain the real meaning.

4. Sense; power of thinking. Little used.


ME'ANNESS, n. Want of dignity or rank; low state; as meanness of birth or condition. Poverty is not always meanness; it may be connected with it, but men of dignified minds and manners are often poor.

1. Want of excellence of any kind; poorness; rudeness.

This figure is of a later date, by the meanness of the workmanship.

2. Lowness of mind; want of dignity and elevation; want of honor. Meanness in men incurs contempt. All dishonesty is meanness.

3. Sordidness; niggardliness; opposed to liberality or charitableness. Meanness is very different from frugality.

4. Want of richness; poorness; as the meanness of dress or equipage.