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

Emailing an agency spokesman to verify new information gleaned through reporting is standard journalistic practice. Colby Itkowitz, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump threatens reporter with prison time during interview," 22 June 2019 Furthermore, information gleaned from a scanner rarely includes information that wouldn’t eventually be open to the public — if, that is, someone even knows to ask for it. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: Keep police and fire radio communications open and transparent," 14 June 2019 But if monetary policy were entirely automated, there would be no use for information gleaned from markets. The Economist, "The market believes the Fed will cut rates by September. Should it?," 12 June 2019 But new tests allow surgeons to glean more quickly whether a prospective donor is actually infected. Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "Organs from drug overdose victims could save the lives of patients on transplant waiting list," 17 Apr. 2018 Understanding how to glean this unobservable rate is critical to setting Fed interest-rate policy. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "New York Fed Eyes John Williams as Its Next Leader," 25 Mar. 2018 For Finley, the sometimes-wild ride presented a unique opportunity to glean important insights about how rivers across Colorado and the West are tapped and manipulated to meet an increasing demand from growing urban centers. The Denver Post, "Post Premium: Our best stories for the week of June 17-23," 23 June 2019 Deitchman said: a playlist and a selection of articles, most of which are gleaned from the Internet. Lizzie Widdicombe, The New Yorker, "The Newsstands of the Future Will Have No Newspapers," 21 June 2019 Since the earliest days of the Mercury program, NASA has been gleaning medical data from its astronauts by studying their physiological responses to spaceflight. National Geographic, "Here’s why women may be the best suited for spaceflight," 17 June 2019

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

13 Jul 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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