see also: Lean
Pronunciation Verb

lean (leans, present participle leaning; past and past participle leaned)

  1. To incline, deviate, or bend, from a vertical position; to be in a position thus inclining or deviating.
    a leaning column
    She leaned out of the window.
  2. To incline in opinion or desire; to conform in conduct; with to, toward, etc.
    I’m leaning towards voting Conservative in the next election.
  3. Followed by against, on, or upon': to rest or rely, for support, comfort, etc.
    • 1864, Alfred Tennyson, “Aylmer’s Field”, in Enoch Arden, &c., London: Edward Moxon & Co., […], OCLC 879237670 ↗, page 54 ↗:
      He lean'd not on his fathers but himself.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XLV, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071 ↗, pages 374–375 ↗:
      The slightest effort made the patient cough. He would stand leaning on a stick and holding a hand to his side, and when the paroxysm had passed it left him shaking.
  4. To hang#Verb|hang outwards.
  5. To press#Verb|press against.
    • 1697, “The Tenth Book of the Æneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, […], OCLC 403869432 ↗, lines 1187–1188, page 533 ↗:
      Oppreſs'd with Anguiſh, panting, and o'reſpent, / His fainting Limbs against an Oak he leant.
Related terms Translations Translations
  • French: se pencher
  • German: lehnen
  • Italian: sporgersi
  • Portuguese: reclinar-se
  • Russian: наклоня́ться
  • Spanish: declinarse
Translations Translations Noun

lean (plural leans)

  1. (of an object taller than its width and depth) An inclination away from the vertical.
    The trees had various leans toward gaps in the canopy.
  • (inclination away from vertical) tilt

lean (comparative leaner, superlative leanest)

  1. (of a person or animal) Slim; not fleshy.
    Synonyms: lithe, svelte, willowy, Thesaurus:slender
  2. (of meat) Having little fat.
    lean steak cuts
  3. Having little extra or little to spare; scanty; meagre.
    Synonyms: insufficient, scarce, sparse, Thesaurus:inadequate
    a lean budget
    a lean harvest
  4. Having a low proportion or concentration of a desired substance or ingredient.
    Synonyms: deficient, dilute, poor
    Antonyms: rich
    A lean ore hardly worth mining.
    Running on too lean a fuel-air mixture will cause, among other problems, your internal combustion engine to heat up too much.
  5. (printing, archaic) Of a character which prevents the compositor from earning the usual wages; opposed to fat.
    lean copy, matter, or type
  6. (business) Efficient, economic, frugal, agile, slimmed-down; pertaining to the modern industrial principles of "lean manufacturing"
    lean management
    lean manufacturing
    Alcoa is now a lean and agile enterprise, after having split last year into two entities.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun


  1. (uncountable) Meat with no fat on it.
    • 1639 or earlier, Anon, Jack Sprat
      Jack Sprat would eat no fat, / His wife would eat no lean.
  2. (countable, biology) An organism that is lean in stature.
    • 1986, Southwest Fisheries Center (U.S.), Collected Reprints (issue 1)
      The intermediates and leans are the predominant morphotypes found at the SE-NHR seamounts […]
    • 2012, Obesity: New Insights for the Healthcare Professional (page 56)
      Obese Zuckers, compared to leans, consumed more food under free-feeding conditions.

lean (leans, present participle leaning; past and past participle leaned)

  1. To thin out (a fuel-air mixture): to reduce the fuel flow into the mixture so that there is more air or oxygen.

lean (leans, present participle leaning; past and past participle leaned)

  1. To conceal.

lean (uncountable)

  1. (slang, US) A recreational drug based on codeine-laced promethazine cough syrup, popular in the hip hop community in the southeastern United States.
    Synonyms: sizzurp, syrup, purple drank

  1. Surname

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