lean·​ing | \ˈlē-niŋ \

Definition of leaning 

: a definite but not decisive attraction or tendency often used in plural radical leanings

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Choose the Right Synonym for leaning

leaning, propensity, proclivity, penchant mean a strong instinct or liking for something. leaning suggests a liking or attraction not strong enough to be decisive or uncontrollable. a student with artistic leanings propensity implies a deeply ingrained and usually irresistible inclination. a propensity to offer advice proclivity suggests a strong natural proneness usually to something objectionable or evil. a proclivity for violence penchant implies a strongly marked taste in the person or an irresistible attraction in the object. a penchant for taking risks

Examples of leaning in a Sentence

the news media are often accused of having liberal leanings despite what his athletic leanings might suggest, he was actually a very lazy kid

Recent Examples on the Web

The city is a wild hodgepodge of restaurants, markets, and street stalls; its cuisine is a mix of Malay, Indian, Thai, and Chinese influences (with a particular leaning toward the Teochew, Hokkien, and Cantonese flavors of the Chinese south). Fuchsia Dunlop, Condé Nast Traveler, "Penang is Asia's Next Great Foodie City," 15 Nov. 2018 Trouvelot was born in Aisne, France, but his political leanings put him at odds with Napoleon Bonaparte. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "These 19th-century astronomical drawings show the beauty of cosmos," 30 Sep. 2018 The other 13% were left-leaning, with messages such as those supporting Colin Kaepernick, the player who began the demonstrations in 2016 to call attention to social injustices and racial inequality. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "How Russian Trolls Inflamed the NFL’s Anthem Controversy," 22 Oct. 2018 If Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner have maxed out on the slickened Internet-girl trend, Baldwin’s leanings are a little punchier and a little more tomboyish. Zoey Grossman; Fashion Editor: Miguel Enamorado, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hailey Baldwin Gets Candid About Fashion, Family, and Life In the Spotlight," 16 Oct. 2018 The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified six senators who could potentially shift the Senate’s decision on Kavanaugh, including Republicans with pro-choice leanings, and vulnerable Democrats who might be tempted to vote conservatively. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "What You Can Do to Fight Brett Kavanaugh’s Appointment to the Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 Kennedy's own leanings on privacy are hard to put in a box. Derek Hawkins, chicagotribune.com, "How Trump's Supreme Court pick could influence digital privacy," 5 July 2018 On a more practical front, a de facto endorsement of the Republican party might isolate politically liberal Catholics who might otherwise have sought to attend the institution but were dissuaded by overt political leanings. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "When Betsy DeVos Comes to a Catholic Campus," 8 May 2018 Ultimately, the film was revealed to be a sequel, one that took a step back from the more comedic leanings of Bride and Seed and opted for the challenge of making Chucky scary again without disregarding everything that came before. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "What Could Be Lost with a 'Child's Play' Remake," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leaning.' 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 leaning

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near leaning


lean and mean



leaning tower



Statistics for leaning

Last Updated

28 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for leaning

The first known use of leaning was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of leaning

: a preference for something or tendency to do something

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More from Merriam-Webster on leaning

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leaning

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leaning

Spanish Central: Translation of leaning

Nglish: Translation of leaning for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leaning for Arabic Speakers

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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