mean (adjective, verb) LISTEN
We use the word mean to talk about how we should understand something.
- The word "enormous" means very big.
- This sign means you can't smoke here.
We can also use mean to talk about what we wanted someone to understand when we said something.
- I didn't mean that you should leave.
If you mean to do something, you are saying that you want to do it.
- He didn't mean to make you sad.
A mean person is someone who isn’t nice to others.
- There's a very mean boy in my class.
If we make a mistake when we are speaking, we often say “I mean…” before we correct the mistake. For example, “Jack is a very good girl. I mean, boy!”
In pop culture
Do you know the Taylor Swift song “Mean”? It is about being strong when someone is mean to you. She feels better because she will have a good life but the mean person will always be mean; listen to her say, “All you’re ever gonna be is mean.”
There are other meanings of mean.