verb \ˈglēn\

: to gather or collect (something) in a gradual way

: to search (something) carefully

: to gather grain or other material that is left after the main crop has been gathered

Full Definition of GLEAN

intransitive verb
:  to gather grain or other produce left by reapers
:  to gather information or material bit by bit
transitive verb
a :  to pick up after a reaper
b :  to strip (as a field) of the leavings of reapers
a :  to gather (as information) bit by bit
b :  to pick over in search of relevant material <gleaning old files for information>
:  find out
glean·able \ˈglē-nə-bəl\ adjective
glean·er noun

Examples of GLEAN

  1. She gleaned her data from various studies.
  2. He has a collection of antique tools gleaned from flea markets and garage sales.
  3. They spent days gleaning the files for information.
  4. They spent hours gleaning in the wheat fields.
  5. gleaning stray ears of corn

Origin of GLEAN

Middle English glenen, from Anglo-French glener, from Late Latin glennare, of Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish doglenn he selects
First Known Use: 14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: gleaningsPrevious Word in the Dictionary: gleamlessAll Words Near: glean
March 30, 2015
amphibology Hear it
A phrase with more than one interpretation
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears