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

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 The values that fueled hot dog patriotism, however, are held most strongly today within the Republican Party, which perhaps explains the political leanings of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "Why Do Carrot Hot Dogs Make You So Mad?," 3 July 2018 The hard-right leaning Herrod is known for his strict stance on immigration and has strongly aligned himself with Trump. Lindsay Whitehurst, The Seattle Times, "GOP voters eye Romney reboot in US Senate primary in Utah," 26 June 2018 The idea has taken hold that citizens discharge their obligation to the republic merely by ascertaining the political leaning of the person raising an objection. Joseph Margulies, Time, "Gina Haspel Ran the CIA Site Where My Client Had Been Tortured. Her Testimony Changed My Opinion of Her," 10 May 2018 Over the last two map-drawing cycles, Ohio's congressional delegation has become less reflective of the political leanings of Ohio's electorate. Rich Exner, cleveland.com, "Ohio Issue 1 Q&A: congressional redistricting and the ills of gerrymandering - Election preview," 3 May 2018 He was considered an affable consensus builder who wasn't afraid to buck the more conservative leanings of his own party. Greg Larose, NOLA.com, "Tom Schedler resigns as Louisiana secretary of state, amid sexual harassment allegations," 30 Apr. 2018 As many of these voters name him as pick the next five presidents combined: No doubt much of this reflects not only the liberal leanings of younger voters but also the gap in experience: Only the oldest millennials remember much from Reagan’s era. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Poll: Barack Obama Was the Greatest President of Our Lifetime," 11 July 2018 Corchado's progressive leanings and preoccupation with cultural identity mercifully leave light traces on his narrative. Jill Leovy, chicagotribune.com, "A personal perspective on Mexico's mass exodus to the United States," 2 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

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on leaning

What made you want to look up leaning? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

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