lean·​ing | \ ˈlē-niŋ How to pronounce leaning (audio) \

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 documents do not provide details about Underwood’s political leanings. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Authorities disrupted an alleged lone wolf’s plan to shoot up the US Capitol," 6 Sep. 2019 Authorities have not established a political connection to the shooter's apparent motive, but that didn't stop the posts from spreading or Trump from repeatedly noting the shooter's apparent political leanings. Amanda Seitz, Fortune, "False Claims Blur Line Between Mass Shootings, 2020 Politics," 5 Sep. 2019 The bias issue has dogged Silicon Valley for years, though there's been no credible evidence that political leanings factor into Google's search algorithms or what users see on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Marcy Gordon, USA TODAY, "How should big tech police content while avoiding bias?," 28 Aug. 2019 By law, the Justice Department is barred from considering political leanings when hiring judges. Tal Kopan, SFChronicle.com, "AG William Barr promotes immigration judges with high asylum denial rates," 23 Aug. 2019 Several officials who worked on the Clinton probe also worked on the bureau's Russia investigation, but the report found no evidence that political leanings affected any decisions made during the Clinton probe. Karoun Demirjian, Anchorage Daily News, "Giuliani suggests Trump may pardon Manafort after Mueller's probe," 17 June 2018 In interviews, Barr’s liberal collaborators have framed Barr’s political leanings as simply an innocuous difference of opinion—but this tweet highlights the evident emptiness of those claims. Laura Bradley, HWD, "ABC Cancels Roseanne Following Racist Tweet from Roseanne Barr," 29 May 2018 Okrent notes that Charles Scribner’s Sons published Grant’s major books and others by authors of similar leanings. Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, "When W. E. B. Du Bois Made a Laughingstock of a White Supremacist," 19 Aug. 2019 Correctly or not, voters believe this nonthreatening old white guy of moderate leanings is the one to beat President Trump. Dana Milbank, The Mercury News, "Milbank: Biden was gloriously adequate in second Democratic debate," 1 Aug. 2019

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

19 Sep 2019

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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

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).


to spread over or through

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