glean

verb
\ ˈglēn How to pronounce glean (audio) \
gleaned; gleaning; gleans

Definition of glean

intransitive verb

1 : to gather grain or other produce left by reapers
2 : to gather information or material bit by bit

transitive verb

1a : to pick up after a reaper
b : to strip of the leavings of reapers glean a field
2a : to gather (something, such as information) bit by bit can glean secrets from his hard drive
b : to pick over in search of relevant material gleaning old files for information
3 : find out The police used old-fashioned detective work to glean his whereabouts.

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Other Words from glean

gleanable \ ˈglē-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce gleanable (audio) \ adjective
gleaner noun

The Grainy History of Glean

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.

Examples of glean in a Sentence

She gleaned her data from various studies. He has a collection of antique tools gleaned from flea markets and garage sales. They spent days gleaning the files for information. They spent hours gleaning in the wheat fields. gleaning stray ears of corn
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Recent Examples on the Web

Investors will be focusing over the next few weeks on company earnings reports in hopes of gleaning clues about the trajectory of the U.S. economy and corporate profits. Alex Veiga, The Seattle Times, "S&P 500 notches 3rd straight weekly gain as US stocks rally," 14 Apr. 2019 More on Cybersecurity Forensic systems are gathering and analyzing vast amounts of data from digital databases and registries to glean clues about an attacker’s infrastructure. Adam Janofsky, WSJ, "Technology Advances Make It Easier to Assign Blame for Cyberattacks," 4 Oct. 2018 It’s hard to glean clues about the state of the electorate in an August special election for a truncated term. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "McConnell threat to nix entire August recess fizzles," 3 Aug. 2018 One campaign that ran for eight days starting on March 20 used Google's goo.gl link-shortening service allowed ProtectWise to use Google's analytics service to glean key details. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Report: Chinese government is behind a decade of hacks on software companies," 5 May 2018 Public hearings and focus groups are among the ways companies glean perception about projects, particularly those that involve major commercial development, Mr. Donovan said. Kristin Broughton, WSJ, "Amazon’s HQ2 Reversal Highlights Risks of Public Perception in Site Selection," 14 Feb. 2019 One of the biggest advantages gleaned off new pitch-and-hit-tracking technology in Major League Baseball this past decade had nothing to do with anyone actually pitching or hitting the ball. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s team must prepare for incoming tidal wave of advanced NHL stats," 4 Feb. 2019 Experts have said that there could be more information gleaned in a direct interview with investigators that’s not captured in broader Senate testimony. Li Zhou, Vox, "A running list of everyone the FBI has interviewed in the Kavanaugh investigation so far," 3 Oct. 2018 The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Midterms will mold Dems' 2020 field," 19 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'glean.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of glean

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for glean

Middle English glenen, from Anglo-French glener, from Late Latin glennare, of Celtic origin; akin to Old Irish doglenn he selects

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Dictionary Entries near glean

gleamer

gleamingly

gleamless

glean

gleanings

gleba

glebe

Statistics for glean

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for glean

The first known use of glean was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for glean

glean

verb

English Language Learners Definition of glean

: 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

glean

verb
\ ˈglēn How to pronounce glean (audio) \
gleaned; gleaning

Kids Definition of glean

1 : to gather from a field what is left by the harvesters
2 : to gather (as information) little by little with patient effort

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More from Merriam-Webster on glean

Spanish Central: Translation of glean

Nglish: Translation of glean for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of glean for Arabic Speakers

Comments on glean

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