Thesaurus

mean

verb

Synonyms of mean

(Entry 1 of 4)

1 to communicate or convey (as an idea) to the mind
  • the national anthem means various things to various people

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2 to be of importance
  • your presence at my graduation would mean a lot to me

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3 to have in mind as a purpose or goal
  • I mean to win this race

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4 to serve as a sign or symptom of
  • these colder nights mean autumn has truly arrived

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mean

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of mean (Entry 2 of 4)

1 a middle point between extremes
  • that candidate's moderate views were seen as the mean that voters were looking for

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Synonyms & Antonyms of mean (Entry 3 of 4)

being about midway between extremes of amount or size
  • for the state of Florida, what is the mean number of sunny days per month?

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Synonyms & Antonyms of mean (Entry 4 of 4)

1 belonging to the class of people of low social or economic rank
  • Alexander Hamilton seems to have had feelings of inferiority because of his mean origins

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6 of the very best kind
  • I'm a mean dancer, so you could do worse than go to the prom with me

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About mean

How is the word mean distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of mean are average, median, and norm. While all these words mean "something that represents a middle point," mean may be the simple average or it may represent value midway between two extremes.

a high of 70° and a low of 50° give a mean of 60°

In what contexts can average take the place of mean?

Although the words average and mean have much in common, average is the quotient obtained by dividing the sum total of a set of figures by the number of figures.

scored an average of 85 on tests

When could median be used to replace mean?

While the synonyms median and mean are close in meaning, median applies to the value that represents the point at which there are as many instances above as there are below.

average of a group of persons earning 3, 4, 5, 8, and 10 dollars an hour is 6 dollars, whereas the median is 5 dollars

When is it sensible to use norm instead of mean?

The words norm and mean can be used in similar contexts, but norm means the average of performance of a significantly large group, class, or grade.

scores about the norm for fifth grade arithmetic

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Time Traveler for mean

Time Traveler

The first known use of mean was before the 12th century

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Statistics for mean

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mean.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/mean. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on mean

Dictionary: Definition of mean

Spanish Central: Translation of mean

Nglish: Translation of mean for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mean for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mean

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