\ 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 touring Evan, Ben Levi Ross, possessed of a rewardingly supple voice and wounded mien of the kid picked last in gym class, proves a worthy inheritor of the role created by Platt. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "Welcome home, ‘Dear Evan Hansen.’ You’re back where you belong.," 8 Aug. 2019 And some looks are simply built to last, making for an iconic look mien the Oakland Raiders. Teresa M. Walker, chicagotribune.com, "NFL at 100: The evolution of uniforms, from bees to Color Rush," 7 June 2019 Local leaders have adopted the mien of real estate magnates, using borrowed money. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "Austerity Has Ravaged U.K. Communities. It Has Also Spurred Reinvention.," 22 June 2019 Topol at least carries the milieu of the play in his mien and bearing. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Review: ‘Indecent’ at the Ahmanson pays haunting tribute to a daring Yiddish play," 11 June 2019 By contrast, Conway is rumpled, with an otherworldly mien, somewhere between The Hobbit’s Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf. Quanta Magazine, "A Life in Games," 28 Aug. 2015 His younger, thinner brother, David, had a more serious mien and spoke less. Lou Weiss, WSJ, "Amalek Comes to Pittsburgh," 28 Oct. 2018 Reed affects a deliciously innocent mien after Deirdre’s jabs — as if her character hadn’t planned exactly which nerve to hit. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Family is a miracle in SHN’s ‘The Humans’," 7 June 2018 And yet the key takeaway from New England’s dominant run is not Brady’s greatness, or Belichick’s grouchy mien, but this: everyone is replaceable. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Shock Claim: Bill Belichick Not Barrel of Laughs," 3 June 2018

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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Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for mien

The first known use of mien was circa 1522

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on mien

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mien

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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