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

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 For the past year, Apple has focused on gleaning talent for its original content offerings. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Apple inks deal with Ex Machina-maker A24 studio to create original films," 15 Nov. 2018 Last night, The New York Times reported that President Trump’s addiction to his phones could be hurting national security, with Chinese spies allegedly listening in on his mobile calls to try and glean some insight into upcoming American policy. James Vincent, The Verge, "Trump tweets he only has one ‘seldom used’ cell phone, via his iPhone," 25 Oct. 2018 First, at this point in my Administration, any benefits that senior officials might glean from consultations with Mr. Brennan are now outweighed by the risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior. Fox News, "Trump's full statement on revoking John Brennan's security clearance," 15 Aug. 2018 When the desert is even drier Many desert species have adapted to a life of scant water by gleaning moisture from food, but severe drought makes that food hard to find. Alex Devoid, azcentral, "Drought raises demand for water deliveries to wildlife, but it's a short-term fix," 27 June 2018 Most people are applauding ABC’s move to end the show before next season; others are gleaning lessons and how-tos from the incident. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, "'Well That Escalated Quickly': Franchesca Ramsey talks about Roseanne fallout," 30 May 2018 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

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

9 Feb 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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