2. Wanting dignity of mind; low-minded; base; destitute of honor; spiritless; as, a mean motive.
Can you imagine I so mean could prove,Dryden.
To save my life by changing of my love ?
3. Of little value or account; worthy of little or no regard; contemptible; despicable.
The Roman legions and great Cæsar foundJ. Philips.
Our fathers no mean foes.
4. Of poor quality; as, mean fare.
5. Penurious; stingy; close-fisted; illiberal; as, mean hospitality.
Mean is sometimes used in the formation of compounds, the sense of which is obvious without explanation; as,
meanborn, mean-looking, etc.
Syn. Base; ignoble; abject; beggarly; wretched; degraded; degenerate; vulgar; vile; servile; menial; spiritless; groveling; slavish; dishonorable; disgraceful; shameful; despicable; contemptible; paltry; sordid.
(Mean), a. [OE. mene, OF. meiien, F. moyen, fr. L. medianus that is in the middle, fr. medius; akin
to E. mid. See Mid.]
1. Occupying a middle position; middle; being about midway between extremes.
Being of middle age and a mean stature.Sir. P. Sidney.
2. Intermediate in excellence of any kind.
According to the fittest style of lofty, mean, or lowly.Milton.
3. (Math.) Average; having an intermediate value between two extremes, or between the several successive
values of a variable quantity during one cycle of variation; as, mean distance; mean motion; mean solar
Mean distance (of a planet from the sun) (Astron.), the average of the distances throughout one revolution
of the planet, equivalent to the semi-major axis of the orbit. Mean error (Math. Phys.), the average
error of a number of observations found by taking the mean value of the positive and negative errors
without regard to sign. Mean-square error, or Error of the mean square (Math. Phys.), the error
the square of which is the mean of the squares of all the errors; called also, especially by European
writers, mean error. Mean line. (Crystallog.) Same as Bisectrix. Mean noon, noon as determined
by mean time. Mean proportional (between two numbers) (Math.), the square root of their product.
Mean sun, a fictitious sun supposed to move uniformly in the equator so as to be on the meridian
each day at mean noon. Mean time, time as measured by an equable motion, as of a perfect clock,
or as reckoned on the supposition that all the days of the year are of a mean or uniform length, in contradistinction
from apparent time, or that actually indicated by the sun, and from sidereal time, or that measured by
1. That which is mean, or intermediate, between two extremes of place, time, or number; the middle
point or place; middle rate or degree; mediocrity; medium; absence of extremes or excess; moderation; measure.
But to speak in a mean, the virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude.Bacon.
There is a mean in all things.Dryden.
The extremes we have mentioned, between which the wellinstracted Christian holds the mean, are