glean

verb
\ ˈglēn \
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 \ 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

Investigators have gleaned latitude and longitude data that lines up with information publicly disseminated by tracking networks, Mr. Utomo said. Ben Otto, WSJ, "Investigators Download 69 Hours of Data From Crashed Lion Air Jet," 4 Nov. 2018 Scientists expect to glean valuable data from the mission, shedding new insight on the Sun’s potential to disrupt satellites and spacecraft, as well as electronics and communications on Earth. James Rogers, Fox News, "Weird solar science: How NASA's Parker probe will dive through the Sun's atmosphere," 10 Aug. 2018 Samaras was a tornado chaser with a simple but absurdly treacherous goal: to get close enough to a twister to glean data from within its core. Jonny Auping, Longreads, "Chasing the Man Who Caught the Storm: An Interview With Brantley Hargrove," 11 Apr. 2018 But the officials have said that the dossier added material and buttressed what American law enforcement and spy agencies were gleaning from other sources. Nicholas Fandos, Matthew Rosenberg And Sharon Lafraniere, New York Times, "Democratic Senator Releases Transcript of Interview With Dossier Firm," 9 Jan. 2018 And what sort of information can our senses glean about the true nature of reality? Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Farmers have gleaned other insights into cows’ behavior. Jesse Newman, WSJ, "Six Technologies That Could Shake the Food World," 2 Oct. 2018 Several members of the campaign were also approached by another U.S. government informant in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the race. Jill Colvin, USA TODAY, "Trump adviser Roger Stone reveals new meeting with Russian," 18 June 2018 Scientists are now studying the ones that are rebounding to glean lessons, since their small numbers mean their survival is still precarious. Rachel Kaufman, Smithsonian, "Three Ways Bats Could Bounce Back From Devastating White Nose Syndrome," 18 June 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

12 Jan 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 \
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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