1 : to gather grain or other produce left by reapers
2 a : to gather (as information) bit by bit
b : to pick over in search of relevant material
3 : to find out
Investigators have been able to glean some useful information from the seized documents.
"He won four gold medals in London on his talent and the experience he gleaned from three previous Olympics." — Suzanne Halliburton, The Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, 15 Jan. 2016
Did You Know?
Glean comes from Middle English glenen, which traces to Anglo-French glener, meaning "to glean." The French borrowed their word from Late Latin glennare, which also means "to glean" and is itself of Celtic origin. Both the grain-gathering sense and the collecting-bit-by-bit senses of our glean date back at least to the 14th century. Over the years, and especially in the 20th and 21st centuries, glean has also come to be used frequently with the meaning "to find out, learn, ascertain." This sense has been criticized by folks who think glean should always imply the drudgery involved in the literal grain-gathering sense, but it is well established and perfectly valid.
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Test Your Vocabulary
What 6-letter verb beginning with "g" refers to the gathering of grain into a granary and can mean "to acquire by effort" or "to accumulate"?VIEW THE ANSWER