\ 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 Not since Dickie Greenleaf had Law found a character so suited to his particular combination of good looks and arrogance, his cocky mien suggesting that desirability and divinity may be more or less the same thing. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "The New Pope’s Tireless Commitment to Transgression," 23 Jan. 2020 Dvoskin, 71, is an elfish man with an intense mien, especially during his frequent acoustic bass solos, when the sounds spill off his fingers and roll through the air, one complex harmonic passage after another. Washington Post, "16 things to do in the D.C. area this weekend," 17 Oct. 2019 Nora’s sugar-sparkled mien reflects her clear and combative sense of what women are up against. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "What’s Missing from the Brilliant “Marriage Story”," 14 Nov. 2019 On the other hand, Brady seems to have adopted some of Belichick’s traditional mien. BostonGlobe.com, "Balance of Patriots power shifts back to Bill Belichick, not Tom Brady - The Boston Globe," 27 Nov. 2019 Sherald riffs on the extravagance of the spectacle while deferring—as just another beholder, another citizen—to the integrity of the mien. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Amy Sherald Effect," 16 Sep. 2019 Unlike hearing Cher toy with the kitsch of electronic modernism until making it her mien, Dion simply sounds robotic and dull. A.d. Amorosi, chicagotribune.com, "Album Review: Celine Dion’s ‘Courage’," 15 Nov. 2019 And without ever entirely abandoning Seymour’s initial deadpan mien or milquetoast voice, Groff charts a precise evolution of a man becoming drunk on the prospect of world renown. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Review: Jonathan Groff Feeds the Beast," 17 Oct. 2019 With an unruly thatch of curly, dark-brown hair, handsome features, and a permanently wry mien, the compactly built 42-year-old director cuts a boyish figure. Adam Green, Vogue, "Hamilton’s Thomas Kail Returns to His Improv Roots with Freestyle Love Supreme," 10 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for mien

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The first known use of mien was circa 1522

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Last Updated

1 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mien.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mien. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for mien


How to pronounce mien (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on mien

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mien

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mien

Spanish Central: Translation of mien

Nglish: Translation of mien for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mien for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mien

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