noun \ ˈmēn \
|Updated on: 19 Jul 2018

Definition of mien

1 : air (see 1air 4c) or bearing especially as expressive of attitude or personality : demeanor
  • of aristocratic mien
  • of somber mien
  • the mien of a choirboy
2 : appearance, aspect
  • dresses of formal mien

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Examples of mien in a Sentence

  1. He has the mien of an ancient warrior.

  2. the stern mien of the librarian suggested that she was not one to put up with any nonsense

Recent Examples of mien from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mien.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Like its synonyms bearing and demeanor, mien means the outward manifestation of personality or attitude. Bearing is the most general, but now usually implies characteristic posture, as in "a woman of regal bearing." Demeanor suggests attitude expressed through outward behavior in the presence of others; for example, "the manager's professional demeanor." Mien is a somewhat literary term referring to both bearing and demeanor. "A mien of supreme self-satisfaction" is a typical use. Mien and demeanor are also linked through etymology. Mien arose through the shortening and alteration of the verb demean, which comes from Latin mener ("to lead") and is also the root of demeanor. In this case, demean means "to conduct or behave (oneself) usually in a proper manner," not "to degrade." That other demean is a distinct word with a different etymology.

Origin and Etymology of mien

by shortening & alteration from 1demean

Synonym Discussion of mien

bearing, deportment, demeanor, mien, manner, carriage mean the outward manifestation of personality or attitude. bearing is the most general of these words but now usually implies characteristic posture.
    • a woman of regal bearing
deportment suggests actions or behavior as formed by breeding or training.
    • your deportment was atrocious
demeanor suggests one's attitude toward others as expressed in outward behavior.
    • the haughty demeanor of the headwaiter
mien is a literary term referring both to bearing and demeanor.
    • a mien of supreme self-satisfaction
manner implies characteristic or customary way of moving and gesturing and addressing others.
    • the imperious manner of a man used to giving orders
carriage applies chiefly to habitual posture in standing or walking.
    • the kind of carriage learned at boarding school

MIEN Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of mien for English Language Learners

  • : a person's appearance or facial expression

MIEN Defined for Kids


noun \ ˈmēn \

Definition of mien for Students

: a person's appearance or way of acting that shows mood or personality

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excessive admiration or flattery

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