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 glean (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 Here are some tips on how to politely glean information about a friend or family member's vaccination status, according to Swann and Farley. Jenna Ryu, USA TODAY, 14 May 2021 To help company leaders glean truly valuable information from employees, 12 members of Forbes Communications Council share tactics to ensure that team members provide candid feedback. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 12 May 2021 Other species have evolved to tune into these calls to glean information about food, predators and territories. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, 6 May 2021 The team is investigating both cases to glean more information about social practices during that era, the statement said. Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2021 There is no way in a finite space to recount every heartbreaking closure, or trace every disruptive ripple through the food industry, or glean complete understanding of recent events. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 18 Mar. 2021 Helping companies glean value from AI can be a tall order, depending on the industry. Jared Council, WSJ, 1 Mar. 2021 There is also the more significant problem that judges can’t see body language, and nor can clients, who in the past could use it to glean information about the judge’s reaction to their position as presented by their lawyer. New York Times, 30 Jan. 2021 What is the health department trying to glean from these questions? Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for glean

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for glean

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Glean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/glean. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on glean

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for glean

Nglish: Translation of glean for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of glean for Arabic Speakers

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