• (British) IPA: /ɡliːn/

glean (gleans, present participle gleaning; past and past participle gleaned)

  1. To collect (grain, grapes, etc.) left behind after the main harvest or gathering.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Ruth 2:2 ↗:
      Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace.
    • c. 1598–1600, William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene v]:
      To glean the broken ears after the man / That the main harvest reaps.
  2. To gather what is left in (a field or vineyard).
    to glean a field
  3. To gather information in small amounts, with implied difficulty, bit by bit.
    • 1689 (indicated as 1690), [John Locke], An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. […], London: […] Thomas Basset, […], OCLC 153628242 ↗:
      content to glean what we can from […] experiments
    • 8 December 2011, BBC News, Iran shows film of captured US drone, available in :
      He said Iran was "well aware of what priceless technological information" could be gleaned from the aircraft.
  4. To frugally accumulate resources from low-yield contexts.
    He gleaned a living from newspaper work for a few months, but in the summer went to a fishing village […] where […] he wrote his great historical drama, "Master Olof." (Translators Edith and Warner Oland on author August Strindberg.)
  • (pick up, gather, collect) lease
  • (gather information) learn
  • French: glaner
  • German: nachlesen, schmorren
  • Italian: racimolare, spigolare
  • Portuguese: respigar, catar
  • Russian: подбира́ть
  • Spanish: espigar
Translations Noun

glean (plural gleans)

  1. A collection made by gleaning.
    • The gleans of yellow thyme distend his thighs.


  1. (obsolete) cleaning; afterbirth

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