\ ˈmēn How to pronounce mien (audio) \

Definition of mien

1 : air (see air entry 1 sense 3c) 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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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.

Examples of mien in a Sentence

He has the mien of an ancient warrior. the stern mien of the librarian suggested that she was not one to put up with any nonsense
Recent Examples on the Web The stories Davis and Wiener gather aren’t exactly new, but few historians ever bothered to gather them together — and none had the institutional knowledge and bomb-throwing mien of the authors. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, "Column: This Mexican nerd’s guide to coronavirus lockdown reading," 6 Dec. 2020 The couple’s hands do not quite touch; the woman’s wide-eyed gaze and her companion’s furtive mien avoid each other and offer no resolution. Colin B. Bailey, The New York Review of Books, "Suffering, Unfaltering Manet," 17 Nov. 2020 Reed looked sheepishly toward his competition — not his usual mien. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth Get Back to Amiable Old Ways," 17 Sep. 2020 At 82, Glimcher has the mien of a monk at peace here. Michael Shnayerson, WSJ, "How Pace Gallery Plans to Survive the Great Art World Collapse," 9 Sep. 2020 Of course, in a healthy political culture, Barr’s authoritarian mien and transparent bad faith would have led to his resignation or dismissal long ago. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Bill Barr Forgot How to Be an Attorney General," 23 June 2020 The Japanese American leader, whose soft-spoken mien belied powerful drive and farsighted vision, rose to national prominence in the nonprofit world as board chair of the Ford and Kresge foundations. Los Angeles Times, "Irene Hirano Inouye, champion of Japanese American causes, dies at 71," 16 Apr. 2020 The Mother — an iridescent, whalelike blob with the soulful mien of an elephant — effectively has the maternal role that Wendy assumes in Barrie’s version. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "‘Wendy’ Review: Where Playtime Goes On … and On," 27 Feb. 2020 Johnson, 55, had been leading that process and communicated the government’s measures to the public in daily briefings, where his familiar shambling style gave way to a graver mien. BostonGlobe.com, "With Johnson ailing, UK faces a leadership quandary," 8 Apr. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of mien

circa 1522, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mien

by shortening & alteration from demean entry 2

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Cite this Entry

“Mien.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mien. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for mien



English Language Learners Definition of mien

old-fashioned + literary : a person's appearance or facial expression


\ ˈmēn How to pronounce mien (audio) \

Kids Definition of mien

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

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